Panthers Dominate Second Half But Can't Find Equalizer
Nov. 21, 2013
MADISON, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team recorded nine of the 10 shots after halftime but could not break through to find the tying goal in falling to the University of Wisconsin, 1-0, Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers (15-3-2) dominated possession against the No. 19 Badgers (14-4-2) in the second half and held advantages of 14-to-6 in shots and 8-to-2 in corner kicks on the night. But, a goal in the 13th minute by Chris Prince ended up as the only score of the night in front of a crowd of 1,473 at McClimon Soccer Complex.
"Obviously, it's a disappointing result. We play to win and look at the result," Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman said. "A lot of credit to Wisconsin, they are a very good team - a tough team to play on any field, much less their home field. Give them a lot of credit. I hope they advance and represent our state in a way they have all season long."
Milwaukee generated shot after shot in search of the equalizer, but could not put a finishing touch on any of its chances to send the game to overtime.
"I am proud of my guys, I am proud of the effort," Kelderman said. "I thought in the second half we were better than we were in the first half. I thought we looked a little disorganized in the first 15 minutes of the game and, unfortunately, I think it cost us. But, we regrouped at halftime, we came out a better team, we created some chances but couldn't put one away to tie it."
Time and time again, the offense made a go of it. But each opportunity, they could not find the back of the net.
Ashcroft had a clear-cut chance in the 79th minute, sending a header off the post just moments before the linesman put up the offsides flag.
Senior Andrew Stone came close with a header off a corner kick, but was off the mark in the 58th minute.
The Panthers came out the clear aggressor in the second half and put together three shots in a span of less than two minutes early in the frame.
Sophomore Declan Rodriguez sent one high in the 52nd minute, with senior Robbie Boyd getting a close-range blast blocked in the 54th minute. Just 21 seconds later it was junior Laurie Bell, taking in a feed on a nice buildup from Boyd to Younes in the box, but was unable to sneak it past Max Jentsch at the near post.
The Badgers scored in the 12th minute, marking just the third time this season that the Panthers did not score the first goal of the game. The win helped extend UW's home unbeaten streak to a nation-best 14, with that last loss coming to the Panthers last season.
The match went to intermission with both teams relatively equal on possession and each side with five shots. Panthers did earn five of the seven corner kicks, including one which resulted in a nice save by the Badger keeper on a header by Rodriguez in the 41st minute.
Milwaukee had another solid effort just minutes later. Senior Austin Toth found Bell, feeding Boyd with a back heel pass to space in the middle. Boyd carried it forward and cracked one from 25 yards, but Jentsch was there with a diving stop.
Freshman Liam Anderson made a pair of spectacular saves in the first to keep it a one-goal deficit. He stopped a close-range volley in the 42nd minute and made a phenomenal stop in the 33rd minute, making a sprawling save on Nick Janus' short volley off a sideline serve.
Rodriguez was also involved in a crucial stop early in the game. A Badger free kick was mishandled in the box, allowing a shot that was past Anderson. Rodriguez was at the post, kicking the ball away from danger and keeping it scoreless at the 8:06 mark.
With the loss, the season concludes for UWM at 15-3-2, marking the most victories in a season for the program since posting 16 in 2003.