Lone Goal Holds Up As Panthers Fall In League Tournament
Nov. 6, 2012
VALPARAISO, Ind. - Jaymie Bullard scored on a header just 22 seconds before halftime for the only goal of the game, helping Valparaiso University hand the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team a 1-0 loss at Brown Field Tuesday night in first-round action of the Horizon League Tournament.
The loss ends the 2012 campaign for the Panthers at 8-8-2. The victory total is the highest for the program since 2006 and also marks the first .500 or better finish since 2005. The Crusaders improve to 6-8-5 and move on to play in the semifinals Friday in Detroit.
"I told the guys we had exceeded expectations this year in regards to preseason rankings and where the program has been the last handful of years," UWM head coach Kris Kelderman said. "They should leave with their heads held high and extremely proud of their effort. They fought hard, they worked extremely hard and the results showed. We finished the regular season with a winning record and the guys walk away winners. They leave the program better off and I am excited the program is moving in a great direction and I am proud to be a part of it."
On a cold and rainy night, the Panthers could not quite get on track offensively. They finished the night with 12 shots, with just four of them coming in the second half. They gave Valpo a scare in the final minute, but could not break through for the equalizer.
"I thought the guys fought hard," Kelderman said. "We kept ourselves in position to potentially get a result tonight, but we just weren't sharp enough in the final third and that has been our struggle pretty much all season long."
Junior Robby Boyd had a chance on thru ball in the 89th minute, but couldn't get enough on it and it went harmlessly wide. Senior Jamie Bladen found junior Riley Weiner for one last possible chance in front of goal with about 10 seconds remaining, but the ball went out for a goal kick which closed out the game.
Bullard netted the header on Valparaiso's only true quality chance of the night, sending a cross from the endline back to the near post to make it 1-0 at the 44:38 mark.
"The goal they scored was unfortunate right before half," Kelderman said. "The timing was not ideal and if you look at the buildup of that play, I thought that was something that we made a poor decision on to keep the ball in play and moments later they scored. And offensively, we just weren't good enough to make up for a mistake."
Senior goalkeeper John Shakon ended the night with four saves. Kyle Zobeck needed two in recording the shutout victory.
For the first 44-plus minutes, the game was essentially even. Outside of the Valpo goal, both teams had eight first-half shots, with three on goal for the Crusaders and a pair on target for UWM. Each team also had two saves by the keepers.
Neither squad carried the majority of play in the first half and many of the shot attempts were from distance and easily saved. Milwaukee had one of its best threats in the 42nd minute. Sophomore Richard Johnson broke ahead of the pack on a long free kick from the foot of junior James Ashcroft, but his attempt went just wide of the goal.