Lone Goal Holds Up As Milwaukee Falls In Exhibition Opener
Aug. 20, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Curtis Weir scored directly off a corner kick in the second half for the only goal of the contest as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team suffered a hard-luck 1-0 loss to DePaul University Monday afternoon at Engelmann Stadium.
The match against the Blue Demons was the only exhibition game the Panthers will play in 2012 and marked the unofficial first contest for new head coach Kris Kelderman.
"I was very pleased with today's performance," Kelderman said. "First and foremost, we tell the guys that we want to be a difficult team to play against and today, we were hard to play against. The effort, the will to win from everybody on the field, was outstanding. That is a priority and it was there."
UWM held the advantage in shots, quality scoring opportunities and possession for the majority of the afternoon, but were not able to find an equalizer. Weir scored the lone goal on one of just three shots that were on target, bending his corner kick at the 58:26 mark to the far post and over the outstretched arms of freshman goalkeeper Connor Revsbeck.
Revsbeck was solid on the day, making a pair of saves on the other on-target chances. Eric Sorby (one save) and Joseph Hart (no saves) split the time for DePaul, which was outshot, 11-to-6. UWM also forced seven of the 10 corner kicks in the game.
The Panthers had a couple of early chances, including a one-on-one by senior Cody Banks after he picked up a turnover behind the back line. After a few touches, his blast from inside the penalty area went wide right by just a few feet.
Late in the first half there was a pair of other quality strikes, with sophomore Laurie Bell nearly netting a goal off a 30-yard free kick (just wide left) and sophomore Zach Stevenson sending his header off a Bell corner kick just over the bar.
"I thought our play as far as possession was pretty good," Kelderman said. "We had some chances, especially in the first half, that in order to beat a good team you have to finish those chances and we were a little unlucky today. The goal they scored was a little flukey, but that's a part of soccer. But, overall, our performance today showed that we are getting better."
Stevenson also caught a bad break just after halftime. With the game still scoreless, he picked off a bad centering pass that was headed to the goalie and ripped a blast at the 48:00 mark from in front of goal. It looked to be headed to the back of the net but clanged off the cross bar to keep it at 0-0 at the time. Stevenson did lead the team with four shots overall.
It will be for real the next time Milwaukee takes the field, heading over to Valley Fields Friday for the annual "Milwaukee Cup" showdown with Marquette in what will be the season opener for both squads. Game time in the local rivalry is set for 6:30 p.m. this Friday.