"Nobody expects us to win."
UW-La Crosse women's basketball coach Lois Heeren knows her team is in for a challenge when they face the Wisconsin Badgers Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison.
It's an exhibition game for both sides so it goes beyond getting a win or a loss for Heeren. "It's a measuring stick for us. If we can compete and play hard and execute some things that will give us a building block for the next two weeks before we really get into our season."
The Eagles, who finished 16-10 overall (9-7 WIAC) last season, return six players and have ten newcomers on this year's roster.
"We have a very young squad with ten freshmen and it will be big for those players to experience the Division I atmosphere, the big time play, playing on the Kohl Center floor."
Senior forward Katie Ehlen says all the players can't wait for this rare opportunity. "It's going to be great. How many Division III schools can say that they played at a Big Ten arena? It's going to be a great opportunity for us to see what it's like to be at that level. Going down to Madison is a big thing for any Wisconsin kid to go to."
UW-L opens its regular season Friday-Saturday, November 16-17 at the UW-Eau Claire Tip-Off Tournament. The Eagles face Simpson College (Iowa) November 16 at 6 p.m. and Northland College (Wis.) November 17 at 3 p.m.