continue reading » Hurricane Matthew September is National Preparedness Month and the perfect time for credit unions to reflect on ways to prepare for when natural disasters strike.2017 was a record year for natural disasters in the United States and 2018 is following suit with the recent California wildfires and with hurricane season now upon us. While these events have devastating effects on the land and communities in their path, the impact can be minimized with the help of the right support structures.Credit unions have a long history of helping disaster victims, generously devoting time, resources and donations to helping members of their communities in need. Last year, when Tropical Storm Harvey devastated parts of Southeast Texas and Louisiana, CO-OP partnered with other industry organizations to create a support line for providing impacted members with access and branch information. CUAid, an organization which provides disaster relief donations for credit union members and employees (and which CO-OP is a proud donor), reports it has raised $2.8 million in contributions so far in 2017-2018.While credit unions have and will continue to be quick to respond when a disaster strikes, they must also be proactive prior to the event. The key to disaster preparation: have an effective plan. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Playing in what turned out to be a wintery vortex at the McClimon Soccer Complex Saturday night, fourth-seeded Wisconsin women’s soccer topped the previously undefeated DePaul Blue Demons in a memorable 2-0 match to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.With players on both sides slipping left and right, forwards found open space more often than usual, leading to a combined 14 shots in the first half. Leading the charge early for DePaul in the first half was sophomore forward Abby Reed, who had three breakaway shots on-target in the first 45 minutes.Despite Reed beating the Badgers (19-2-2) back line and earning one-on-one opportunities on those occasions, Wisconsin’s senior goalkeeper Genevieve Richard recorded a series of miraculous saves to keep the Badgers in it.Richard noted the importance of making a statement with an early lead, and a big part of that is keeping the shutout intact to support the offense.“I think it helps the team a lot to keep a clean sheet, and it gives us the opportunity to score first and that’s always good,” Richard said. “It just leads to a good momentum, so I’m just glad I did my job.”While DePaul (16-1-4) had trouble finishing their chances in the opening minutes, the Badgers certainly did not. Just 12 minutes into the game, junior midfielder Kinley McNicoll found an open lane into the box, crossing it through the defense to senior forward Cara Walls. Walls then promptly redirected the pass with a header that bounced into the left corner of the goal for the 1-0 lead.The assist was the team-leading 27th point scored by McNicoll, while the goal was number 12 for Walls, also tops on the Badgers.A little while later in the 20th minute, the Badgers got some insurance, upping their lead to 2-0 after redshirt senior forward Kodee Williams found Walls over the middle for a sliding goal through the increasingly snowy field.Looking back at her early goals and the conditions on the field, Walls said the snow really only hindered her ability to fire shots.“I honestly thought the conditions weren’t as bad,” Walls said. “I felt that I was able to pass the ball fine and I don’t think the conditions played as big of a role in the chances of opportunities we created.”For a team that averaged less than one goal allowed per game all season, the Blue Demons found themselves in an early hole, but with plenty of time left to respond. Perhaps due to the snowy field, the Badgers defense appeared more vulnerable than usual, giving up a few costly turnovers in the first half. On one occasion in the closing minutes of the first half, an errant pass back over the middle intended for Richard was intercepted by Reed, who had an open look but barely missed the net wide right.The near miss for Reed epitomized the frustrating night for DePaul’s offense, which finished the night with five shots on-target compared to the Wisconsin’s seven.After a fast-paced first half, the second half showcased far fewer scoring opportunities as the field got increasingly slick and players lost their footing. While the refs appeared to be relatively lenient with calling fouls, there were still plenty to go around, with Wisconsin committing 14 of the 20 total.The big difference maker was Wisconsin’s back line finding some rhythm after a spotty first half. After giving the defense fits in the opening segment, Reed had no on target attempts in the final 45 minutes and was essentially taken out of the game by the Badgers defense, led by senior Alexandra Heller and junior Brianna Stelzer.The Badgers offense successfully maintained control of the ball in the attacking third for the majority of the second half, but couldn’t capitalize. Looking for a dagger in the 84th minute, a sneaky pass to McNicoll in the box looked promising, but DePaul junior goalkeeper Alejandria Godinez stole the ball away before a finishing touch could be made.Sensing the fate of their season in the balance, DePaul began to play desperately in the closing moments. The Blue Demon offense tried several shots from long range, likely hoping for Richard to succumb to the slick field and miss a save. The efforts, however, were too little too late, as the final 2-0 score line punched the Badgers’ ticket to Tallahassee for the second round.After spending two hours in ice and snow, head coach Paula Wilkins said the idea of heading down south for the second round was more than welcoming for her team. That being said, Wilkins emphasized the trip will be business as usual.“I think the players are excited to be in a little bit warmer climate,” Wilkins said. “But, it’s definitely not going to be a vacation for us. They are going to be focused and they have some goals in mind. It will be very exciting.”The Badgers will be on the pitch next against UCF Nov. 21 at the Florida State campus, starting at 3:30 p.m. CT.