Men's Soccer: Spring Game Report vs. Cardinal Stritch
April 24, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The Panthers have six games scheduled for the spring season, which began on April 1. Assistant coach Ben Shepherd will again take time to report on how each match went.
On Wednesday night, we took on local university Cardinal Stritch, which is a good NAIA program with some good foreign talent. We knew it would make for an interesting game and a worthwhile exercise.
We started the game well and within the first minute went close when Kevin Ferron was slipped through on goal. Although he was unable to get off a clean shot, which possibly later in the game could have been called for a penalty. However; it was Cardinal Stritch who scored first after a long hopeful ball over the top was not dealt with well by us. Their player found himself in a 1 v 1 situation with John Shakon and calmly finished well to give them a 1-0 lead. It was a poor goal to concede from our point of view defensively and was more to do with a lack of concentration than anything else.
To give our guys credit, immediately from the re-start we pushed forward and a good move resulted in Jamie Bladen blasting home from the top of the penalty box to make it 1-1 with an excellent finish.
From then on for the rest of the half, we created some good chances with Laurie Bell, Kevin Ferron, Cody Banks and Robbie Boyd all going close. Although it remained 1-1 at half-time and we were not entirely satisfied with certain aspects of our play which we thought could be a lot sharper.
In the second half, we began to move the ball quicker and apply continued pressure, although we have to give Stritch a lot of credit as they were well organized and worked extremely hard throughout the game and had some dangerous counter-attacks of their own that we had to be wary of at times.
The winning goal came from a set-piece which we did well to keep alive in the second phase and from the right channel James Ashcroft supplied an excellent cross for Cody Banks to calmly side foot home from 6 yards out for his third goal in two games.
We continued to create chances and probably should of made the game more comfortable, but it was a very competitive game and Cardinal Stritch made our guys work for everything. Although our play was a little sloppy at times and not as fluent as the DePaul game, the boys still found a way to win and continued to try and play our way which again was pleasing to see.
For us there were good performances from Zach Stevenson at left back who was solid throughput, Jamie Bladen in the midfield was able to control the tempo of the game well when he was on the ball and Robbie Boyd caused problems throughout.
Thanks again for all the support and we now get ready to head down to Indiana to play IUPUI on Sunday, who are another solid Division I program which should be another good game!!