No. 25 Xavier Pulls Away From Milwaukee In Second Half
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Luke Spencer scored a pair of goals and assisted the third to lead No. 25 Xavier University to a 3-1 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team Sunday afternoon at XU Soccer Complex.
The Panthers (3-2-0) tied the game in the 61st minute, only to see the nationally-ranked Musketeers (4-0-1) respond less than five minutes later before adding an 89th-minute goal to make the final score of 3-1 far less indicative of the way the match was played.
"It was one of those games for us where I thought, for spurts, that we were pretty decent and then there were spurts when we weren't," UWM head coach Kris Kelderman said. "We just need to be more consistent. Xavier, at the end of the day, was a better team than us. They had some chances and took advantage of them and scored some goals. They are a pretty solid team."
Down 1-0 until after the half, freshman Stuart McBain made the most of his first collegiate action, burying his first-ever shot attempt for a goal to tie the game at 1-1 at the 60:37 mark.
Freshman Aaron Horvat dribbled up through traffic, slotting sophomore Laurie Bell on a run down the right side. He sent a cross back to the far post where McBain was waiting to bury the goal just 10 minutes after subbing into the contest.
But, Xavier quickly regained the momentum. Spencer settled a ball in the box and scored to the far post only four minutes and 30 seconds after UWM had tied it to make it 2-1. The late goal then came with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
"When you are working hard and score a goal to tie it up, you think `OK, here we go'," Kelderman said. "Unfortunately, Xavier responded really well pretty quickly. It was a poor clearance on our part that went right to somebody in the box and he finished well. We are a young team and we are going to make mistakes - we just have to minimize that."
The first half saw Milwaukee dominate early on, recording five of the first six shots of the afternoon. It want Xavier's way most of the final 25 minutes, with the Panthers getting just one shot off in that span and XU holding an 8-to-6 advantage at the half.
Freshman Patrick Ruhland created the first dangerous threat for UWM, poking away a ball on the back line for a turnover in the 21st minute. That created an opportunity for sophomore Zach Stevenson, but his 20-yard blast was saved nicely.
Senior goalkeeper John Shakon made what appeared to be the play of the half in the 27th minute, charging off his line to take the ball literally off the foot of Spencer who had broken free for a breakaway chance.
But, it was Spencer who found the net in the 32nd minute, however, burying a one-timer at the post on a run towards the goal off connecting passes.
Despite being outshot, 18-to-10, and earning four of the 10 corners in the match, the Panthers had a few chances to equalize before Will Walker headed in the final goal at the 88:50 mark when UWM was pressing.
The Panthers stay on the road and head to the Northwestern Lakeside Classic next weekend for some tough competition. They will play Northern Illinois and the host Wildcats at the tournament.