Sept. 8, 2009
THIS WEEK IN MILWAUKEE MEN'S SOCCER
UWM (1-2-0) vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans (1-1-0)
Matador Soccer Field
Fri., Sept. 11, 3:30 p.m. CST
First meeting in the all-time series
UWM (1-2-0) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (1-1-0)
Matador Soccer Field
Sun., Sept. 13, 3:30 p.m. CST
Milwaukee leads the all-time series, 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 9/14/08: UWM 1, CSUN 0
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team will continue the 2009 season with its longest trip of the year, traveling over 1,700 miles to play in the Matador Challenge on the campus of Cal State Northridge. The Panthers will be one of four teams in the tournament, joining host CSUN, Cal State Fullerton and Fairleigh Dickinson for the weekend. Milwaukee gets play underway Friday against the Fullerton Titans and wraps up the weekend against the host Matadors Sunday. Both games are set to begin at 3:30 p.m. CST and will be available via Gametracker on the UWM website.
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All-time, the Panthers have played just one game against the two schools combined, having never taken on Cal State Fullerton on the soccer field. And the lone game in the series with Cal State Northridge - a 1-0 UWM win - took place just last season. In fact, the Panthers have played just four matches all-time against schools from the Big West Conference, going 1-3 in those contests.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
CAL STATE FULLERTON: The Titans are 1-1-0 on the season after securing an overtime victory over Penn State and a last-second (just 18 seconds left) loss to Ohio State on the opening weekend. Of the 28 players on the 2009 roster, only five are newcomers to the program. Seven returning starters are among 12 lettermen that are joined by nine redshirt freshmen who sat out last season. The most surprising development of the off-season was the move of First-Team All-Big West Conference selection Matt Sanders from the back line to the front line. Sophomore Trevor Whiddon is the Titans' starting goalkeeper in 2009 after splitting time with Kevin Puder in 2008.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Matadors are off to a 1-1-0 start after dropping their season opener, 2-0 at San Diego, and winning their home opener, 1-0, over Loyola Marymount Sunday. CSUN lost only three seniors due to graduation and are returning an experience-laden roster that includes ten seniors, 15 upperclassmen and 21 total returning players. Among the returnees is three-time All-Big West selection senior midfielder Sunghyun Kim, who earned a conference first team honor in addition to a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Second Team award. Other returnees include All-Big West Second Team honorees, junior forward Camilo Rojas and senior defensemen Robert Pate and All-Conference honorable mention senior defender Chad Borak. Also making their return to the pitch will be senior Devin Deldo, sophomore Rafael Garcia and junior Moy Gomez, who each missed significant portions of the 2008 season. Deldo and Garcia each played in only a single game last season and Gomez was held to 12 games.
OPENING WEEK: ACT I
The Panthers have started the season 1-2-0 after three games, playing shorthanded due to injury and, seemingly, not catching any breaks along the way. The team lost the season opener, 1-0, to Marquette Sept. 1 before going 1-1 at the Middleton Sports & Fitness Invitational this past weekend in Madison. There, Milwaukee beat Western Illinois, 1-0, Friday before dropping a 2-1 decision to Virginia Tech Sunday. Against the Leathernecks, junior Greg Rosenthal scored the only goal and backed the first collegiate shutout of freshman John Shakon with a key team save later in the game. On Sunday, UWM tallied a late goal by junior Robert Refai and nearly had the equalizer just seconds later, but suffered the 2-1 setback.
For their efforts, senior Nkuti Ndely and freshman goalkeeper John Shakon were named to the all-tournament team.
Milwaukee fell to 17-15-5 all-time in season openers, including a 12-11-3 ledger in road openers, after dropping the Milwaukee Cup matchup to Marquette, 1-0 on an 85th minute goal, Sept. 1. The Panthers have been a bit jinxed in their season opener the past few years, not having come out on top since the 2003 season in going 0-4-2 over the past six campaigns.
BOOK DRIVE FOR NEXT DOOR FOUNDATION
The Milwaukee and Marquette men's squads announced in late August an organized children's book drive at all home games in the month of September. Collected books will be donated to the Next Door Foundation's Books for Kids program.
Both teams are offering $1 off the price of admission for donating a book at the gate, beginning Sept. 1 at Valley Fields when MU will host the Panthers in this year's Milwaukee Cup. Quality new and used children's books will be collected at UWM home games against UC Santa Barbara Sept. 18 and versus Oakland Sept. 20.
"We are really excited that the two local universities could come together to support this cause and help as many kids as we can," said Milwaukee head coach Jon Coleman. "We are looking for everyone's support on this project and think the Milwaukee Cup game against Marquette will be a great way to kick off the drive. The UWM soccer program is looking forward to connecting with the kids in the community and giving back to them."
EXHIBITION SEASON REDUX
Milwaukee came through the 2009 exhibition season at a perfect 2-0, but both of its opponents made them work for the victories. In each game, UWM trailed well into the second half by a score of 1-0, only to net two goals each time en route to the 2-1 win.
Down 1-0 until the 61st minute against SIU Edwardsville Aug. 19, freshman Andrew Wiedabach and sophomore Evan Bartzis struck for goals at the 60:37 and 75:26 marks of the second half. Then, against Whitewater Aug. 23, sophomores Eric Frazier and Zach Funk netted a pair of goals within 38 seconds of each other in the 69th minute to prevail. Sophomore Sam Alexander and freshman John Shakon worked one half each in both games, each finishing with a 1.00 GAA. Offensively, UWM tallied 36 shots in the two contests, with Frazier leading the way with 10 attempts and junior Greg Rosenthal second with five.
YOUTH SOCCER MONTH
Milwaukee was one of just 50 schools across the country to be selected to participate in "Youth Soccer Month". This September, the National Youth Soccer Month campaign celebrates its seventh year of educating the public about the joys, rewards and benefits of playing youth soccer, and offers a variety of resources to learn more about youth soccer and get involved. The goals are to:
*Raise awareness of Youth Soccer and benefits of playing
*Emphasize soccer as the number one youth participation sport in America and a leading contributor to the healthy lifestyle of millions of American families
*Bring kids and families of all ages and all abilities together for fun, friendship and fitness
*Highlight the various programs available to children interested in participating in soccer, including inner-city, special needs, recreational and elite soccer programs
THE YOUNG GUNS
Eric Frazier, Evan Bartzis and Ross Van Osdol made nice impressions in their first season, accounting for 11 of UWM's 17 goals on the year. If you look at the stats, five of Milwaukee's top six point producers in 2008 were freshmen or sophomores. Frazier had a team-high 16 points (6G/4A) while Bartzis was tied for second with six points (3G) with senior Adam Skalecki (2G/2A). Van Osdol (2G/1A) and then-sophomores Peter Sanger (2G/1A) and Robert Refai (1G/3A) tied for fourth with five points each.
TOP OF THE CHARTS
Speaking of Eric Frazier, one look at the scoring chart shows the production he helped bring to the offense last season. He led the team with 16 points in 19 games, a point total that ranked tied for seventh in the Horizon League (his six goals were seventh and four assists tied for10th). The 16 points were more than any player recorded in 2007 and his four assists also topped the three helpers the 2007 team leader finished with.
His goal, assist and point totals are the highest for a UWM freshman since Antou Jallow scored 16 points in eight goals in 2001. His six goals were also the most for any UWM player since Neil Dombrowski had nine in 2005.
200 SOUNDS GOOD
The Panthers love to play at Engelmann Field and their record over the years proves just that. Their all-time ledger at the field entering the 2009 campaign is 197-75-22, an impressive .710 winning percentage. With seven games on the home slate this fall, looks like UWM will be celebrating victory No. 200 on its storied home field at some point this season.
For the first time in recent memory, a large class of seniors will not be on the field for Milwaukee this fall. Just two seniors dot the roster in 2009, with Nicholas Gerard-Larson and Nkuti Ndely looking to close out their careers on a high note. UWM will definitely be a young squad this season. In addition to the two seniors, the roster features just five juniors. In total, 22 of the 29 student-athletes on the roster are sophomores (13) or freshman (9).
LEANING ON EXPERIENCE
This year's sophomore class definitely took advantage of the opportunity a year ago. One of the benefits that last season brought was the great amount of experience that the underclassmen were able to take in. Freshman accounted for 80 starts in the field last year, including three players that had 15 or more starts on the campaign. Overall, UWM returns 12 players that had six or more starts in 2008, including six that had 10 or more: sophomore Tony Maxey (18 starts), junior Greg Rosenthal (17), senior Nicholas Gerard-Larson (17), sophomore Eric Frazier (16), junior Peter Sanger (16) and sophomore Aaron Gibbons (10).
NEWCOMER IN THE NETS
The Panthers will start a goalkeeper without any previous regular season collegiate game experience in 2009. After two seniors, Grant Fernstrum and Ryan Germann, both graduated a year ago, the roster now includes sophomore Sam Alexander, who did not see any time on the field behind Fernstrum and Germann a year ago, redshirt freshman John Shakon and true freshman Taylor Zyvoloski.
MORE WITH COACH COLEMAN
This season there will be a new weekly feature with UWM's head coach. Look for a weekly audio podcast of the "Jon Coleman Show", as we sit down weekly with Jon to revisit the week that was and talk about the upcoming schedule. The first episode will be available Aug. 31 and will follow with a new episode every Monday during the course of the 2009 campaign. The show is available as a link off the main UWM website page or directly at www.uwmpanthers.cstv.com/genrel/podcasts.
With the 2-2 draw against Northern Illinois Oct. 14 of last season, the Panthers tied the school record with five ties on the year. The previous mark was set back in 2005, when Milwaukee went 14-4-5 on the year. Prior to that, the most ties on record are the four recorded during the 1979 campaign (15-3-4).
Mb>GRAMENZ TABBED BY THUNDER
Former Milwaukee men's soccer player Don Gramenz was named the head coach of the Minnesota Thunder last November. He became just the third head coach in the 20-year history of the Thunder, a team in the United Soccer Leagues First Division. Gramenz was a four-year letter winner at Milwaukee from 1990-93, helping the team go 49-22-7 in his four seasons while claiming two league titles and appearing in the 1990 NCAA Tournament.
Gramenz appeared in 70 games during his career and scored 57 points on 19 goals and 19 assists. He started 61 of the 70 games he appeared in and his 19 assists are still good for 10th on UWM's all-time list. In addition to his impressive numbers, Gramenz was also named the team's Most Improved Player following the 1991 season in addition to being honored with the Coach's Award in 1993. He was a team captain his senior year and earned First Team All-Mid-Continent and First Team All-Midwest honors that season.
Gramenz had been named interim coach of the Thunder in July and guided the team to the playoffs. He played for the Thunder from 1991 to 2003 and was inducted into the Thunder Hall of Fame in 2004 after his career was over.
RAMPA JOINS PROFESSIONAL RANKS
Milwaukee alum Tenzin Rampa continued his career professionally, as he was added to the opening day roster of the Milwaukee Wave Dec. 11 after signing a 15-day contract. Rampa had been playing with the Armada, the Wave's developmental squad. Rampa was in his second year with the Armada and had scored 19 goals in the first five games in 2008. He ended the Wave season with totals of 19 shots and seven points in 15 games played.
Rampa, a four-year letterwinner who was selected by the Wave in the 2008 Major Indoor Soccer League College Draft, was a key piece of the Milwaukee midfield his final three seasons. He was one of just two players to start all 20 games in 2007, finishing the year with a career-best three assists and 18 shots. He appeared in all 19 games as a junior after a breakout season as a sophomore.
GERARD-LARSON EARNS HONOR
Nicholas Gerard-Larson was named to the Horizon Academic All-League Team last season. A total of 62 student-athletes from five fall sports were honored in balloting by the league's faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors from among more than 120 nominations.
Detroit led the league with 10 selections, followed by Butler, Loyola and Valparaiso with nine apiece. Milwaukee had eight total honorees, Green Bay six and Youngstown State five.
Gerard-Larson set career-highs with 18 games played, 17 games started and 16 shots this fall. He recorded two assists on the year from his midfield position and finished fourth on the team in minutes played. The Dean's List member carries a 3.824 GPA as a history major.
SANGER IS A CHAMP
Peter Sanger claimed a national championship with the Milwaukee Kickers this summer. His club team won the United States Adult Soccer Association's (USASA) 2009 U20 National Tournament played in Manalapan, N.J., with the championship on July 19.
The local club had never previously won a national crown at any level in 40 years of existence and had sent a team to the national semifinals just once previously. In pool play, the Kickers went 2-0-1 and finished atop their group with seven points. Counting the semifinal and final, the team outscored its opponents, 14-0, including a 1-0 victory over Greek American Kosmos in the championship to claim the USASA Region I National Cup.
Sanger played in every game and ended the tournament with two goals and five assists.
TIME WARNER TELEVISION SCHEDULE FOR 2009
The Panthers will have three of their games televised this fall on Time Warner Sports 32, beginning with the season opener against Marquette to be aired live. In addition to that contest, the Milwaukee games at Green Bay Oct. 30 and home against Wisconsin Nov. 5 will also be aired on TWC Sports 32. Matt Menzl and Sean Reti are scheduled to do all games. The Milwaukee/Marquette game will also air Sept. 2 at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 3 at 8:30 a.m. and Sept. 6 at 4:30 p.m. Replay dates and times of the other games will be announced at a later date.
UWM will open the home season, hosting the 36th Annual Panther Invitational Sept. 18-20. The team takes on No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Engelmann Field to start the home slate.