No. 14 Santa Clara Escapes With 2-1 Victory Over Panthers
Sept. 7, 2008
MADISON, Wis. - No. 14 Santa Clara University scored a goal in the 89th minute to escape with a 2-1 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team Sunday afternoon at the Middleton Sports & Fitness Invitational in Madison. The Broncos (1-3-0) netted the game-winner in the 89th minute to avoid an upset at the hands of the Panthers (1-2-1).
Milwaukee had one last chance after the goal, but freshman Evan Bartzis, who took the kickoff, dribbled through numerous defenders to get an opening before having his shot saved with under 40 seconds left in the contest.
"With two minutes left in the game, tied 1-1, it could have gone either way," UWM head coach Jon Coleman said. "There is not a team that we can't play with. We had some opportunities and created some chances but it wasn't meant to be. It was a great learning experience for us to play against a really good team today."
The Panthers had tied the game in the second half on a goal by Bartzis, getting the game back to even at the 68:18 mark. The match remained that way until near the end of regulation, when the Broncos turned a 35-yard free kick into the winner when Mykell Bates scored at the far post on a diving header attempt.
Down 1-0 after an early penalty kick, the Panthers found the equalizer off a throw-in from the sideline. Freshman Eric Frazier sent the long throw to the top of the penalty area, where Bartzis went up-and-above the crowd to head his second goal of the season over the SCU goalkeeper's head.
UWM put up a great defensive effort, limiting the Broncos to very few quality chances despite a 19-to-6 edge in shots and a huge 11-to-1 advantage in corner kicks.
"We put ourselves in a situation to win the game today, but have to do a better job taking care of the details," Coleman said. "We got a little disjointed at times, but collectively, as a group, everyone did well defensively."
Senior goalkeeper Grant Fernstrum did all he could to keep Milwaukee in the game in the second half, making five saves throughout the period before the last-minute theatrics.
The only scoring of the first half came at the 18:45 mark, when Santa Clara's Brian Martin converted a penalty kick.
The Broncos had sent a ball up the field and it was played into the right side of the box. Fernstrum came off his line to make a play on it, but was called for a foul on his diving attempt at corralling the loose ball. Martin then netted the PK for the lone score of the half.
Offensive opportunities were few and far between for both teams in the first half. UWM recorded just two shots, while Santa Clara had seven. Besides the penalty kick, only one other chance was even in jeopardy of going in, but Fernstrum made a terrific diving stop to keep it out of the net in the 28th minute.
The Broncos were ranked in the top five in all of the national preseason polls - including No. 1 in one of the polls - before a rough start. They had lost three one-goal games to open the 2008 campaign before getting into the win column today.
Fernstrum ended the game with seven saves, while Kevin Klasila recorded two in earning the win. The match was the first-ever between the two schools on the soccer field.
"[Santa Clara] is a good team and we stopped them from doing some things today," Coleman said. "There are a lot of positives ... a lot of good things. Some guys are playing really well. Again, we just need to take better care of the details."
UWM will open the home season next, hosting the 35th Annual Panther Invitational Sept. 12-14. The team takes on Binghamton Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Engelmann Field to start the home slate. Wisconsin and Cal State Northridge get things underway at 5 p.m.
1. Wisconsin (1-0-1)
OFFENSIVE MVP: Pablo Delgado, Wisconsin