Oct. 4, 2011
THIS WEEK IN MILWAUKEE MEN'S SOCCER
UWM (5-5-0) vs. Michigan State (2-6-2)
DeMartin Soccer Complex
East Lansing, Mich.
Tue., Oct. 4, 3 p.m. CST
Milwaukee leads series 6-3-1
UWM (5-5-0, 2-1-0 HL) vs. Detroit (4-6-0, 0-2-0 HL)
Sat., Oct. 8, 11 a.m. CST
Milwaukee leads series 12-7-3
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team opens the month of October with a pair of road matches, heading to Michigan for both dates. First up, the Panthers head to East Lansing to take on Michigan State University Tuesday in a non-conference game set to start at 3 p.m. CST. Then, on the weekend, UWM heads back to the state to play the University of Detroit Saturday at 11 a.m. CST.
Both contests will have live statistics available via the Panthers website at uwmpanthers.com. In addition, join assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box.
Men's Soccer Weekly Release
Milwaukee leads the all-time series against MSU by a count of 6-3-1, with the two teams playing last season for the first time since 1992. In that game, UWM earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw the Spartans, ranked No. 22 at the time.
UWM leads the series with Detroit, 12-7-3, but the Titans have held their own the past six seasons, going 3-3-1 against the Panthers to snap what had been a seven-year stretch of Milwaukee victories (8-0-0). A year ago, UDM took a 2-0 lead early in the second half and held on for a 2-1 win.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
Michigan State: The Spartans are 2-6-2 overall after a 2-1 loss to Ohio State on the weekend. A 2-1 win over Horizon League opponent UIC Sept. 27 snapped what was a five-game stretch (0-3-2) without a victory. Michigan State is having a tough go of it after being ranked 19th in the NSCAA preseason poll and coming off a 2010 season in which it went 13-7-4.
It was tabbed fifth in the preseason conference poll, with three MSU players on the league's watch list: Rubin Bega, Cyrus Saydee and Kevin Cope. The Spartans lost eight players to graduation from last year's team which advanced to the NCAA Round of 16, but have nine seniors on the current team. Bega and Adam Montague lead the offense, each with five points on two goals and one assist. Jeremy Clark has played all 962:44 in goal, posting a .782 save percentage and 1.12 goals against average.
Detroit: The Titans are 4-6-0 overall and 0-2 in Horizon League play after falling to Valparaiso, 3-2, in overtime Saturday. Detroit recorded eight wins a year ago, which was their highest win total since 2005 (12-6-2). Many familiar faces return to the program as last year's team only had three seniors. First Team All-Horizon League honoree Ya Ya Toure will join fellow senior Otieno Victor up front to get the offense going for UDM. Toure led the team with nine goals a year ago, while Sam Seppo, yet another senior, was second on the team with six.
So far in 2011, Pat Lepera leads the offense with nine points (3G/3A), with Victor right behind at eight (4G).
The Panthers experienced the highs and lows of league play all in the span of three days, going 1-1 in two games at Engelmann Stadium. The first one against Green Bay became an instant classic, with junior Cody Banks giving UWM the Chancellor's Cup when he scored the golden goal with just seven seconds remaining in double-overtime. Milwaukee overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 in the game, with Nick Langford and Jamie Bladen also adding goals.
Then, on Saturday, Cleveland State raced out to a 3-0 lead before UWM would mount a comeback. The Panthers would get late goals from Banks and freshman Adam Hutchinson, but ran out of time and fell to 2-1 in Horizon League play with the 3-2 loss.
SCORING IN BUNCHES
UWM tallied two more goals in its most recent game and now leads the Horizon League in that category with 20 overall. In addition to leading the league in goals, the squad also leads in total points with 58 and assists with 18.
For perspective, UWM scored 17 goals last season and had just 12 over the course of the 2009 campaign. At this rate, Milwaukee will score its highest amount of goals in quite some time. The Panthers netted 17 goals in 2008, 16 in 2007 and 26 in 2006. The last time a Milwaukee squad averaged two goals per game or better was in 2004, when it tallied 44 goals in 22 games.
EVERY SECOND COUNTS
Junior Cody Banks scored the winner against Green Bay with just seven seconds left, making it one of the latest goals to end a match (109:53) in recent memory. Since 2000, only a handful has even come close. UWM and Green Bay are familiar with the late heroics, with their game last season decided in the 109th minute in the win by the Phoenix. Looking back, Milwaukee lost a 2-1 game to Michigan in October of 2005 in the 109th minute. The other contenders? Vermont edged UWM, 2-1, with just 21 seconds left in double-OT in 2010 and Bowling Green defeated Milwaukee, 2-1, back in the 2001 season with just 15 seconds left in double-overtime as well.
A quick look at the results so far and a couple of patterns jump off the page. The first number is two, as in two goals. In games that UWM has scored at least two goals, it is 5-1-0 on the season.
The other is ten. The team has found the back of the net at least once in each of the 10 games so far in 2011, the longest streak without being shutout since scoring 21 goals over a 12-game stretch to start the 2005 season (Sept. 2-Oct. 12).
LEARNING ON THE FLY
It may take more than a quick glance at the season statistics to notice, but the Panthers have been playing a very young squad so far in 2011. In fact, freshmen have accounted for 54 starts overall this season. Of note, UWM has started as many as eight freshmen in a game (against Butler Sept. 24).
After missing last season with an injury, freshman Gerardo Saavedra is quickly making a fast impression and has a team-high 12 points (four goals/four assists) in his first 10 collegiate games. That pace for a newcomer has not been seen at UWM since 2001, when Antou Jallow scored four goals in his first five games - en route to eight in his first 12 before an ACL injury ended that season. In fact, Saavedra is already the highest-scoring frosh in a season at UWM since 2008, when Eric Frazier netted team-high totals of 16 points and six goals.
Most points as a freshman in program history:
Manny Lagos, 1990: 39 (15G/9A)
Tony Sanneh, 1990: 34 (15G/4A)
Pete Knezic, 1977: 21 (7G/7A)
John Santorineos, 1979: 20 (9G/2A)
Lito Zabala, 1976: 17 (7G/3A)
Antou Jallow, 2001: 16 (8G)
Eric Frazier, 2008: 16 (6G/4A)
Following the victory over Butler Sept. 24, Milwaukee has now gone 15-8-4 all-time in league openers in the seasons in which they have had a conference affiliation. Prior to 2011, UWM was 1-2-2 over its past five such contests, knocking off Valparaiso, 2-1, in overtime in its 2010 league opener.
The Panthers had their early-season three-game winning streak snapped by a run of tough luck - three consecutive 2-1 losses - including two in overtime. Milwaukee led each of those three contests by a 1-0 score well into the second half - including until the 86th minute in its losses to Gardner-Webb Sept. 16 and UAB Sept. 18 the same weekend.
In scoring four goals against Western Michigan Sept. 4, the Panthers had seven different players record goals or assists. That tied for the most since seven different players hit the stat sheet in UWM's 4-2 win over Marquette in the 2010 season opener. Prior to Chris Whalley's arrival, the last time the team had seven players score points in a game was in a 4-0 win over Wright State in October of 2006.
The Panthers have now recorded 173 shots through the first 10 games of the season and lead the Horizon League in shots per game at 17.3. Valparaiso now ranks second at 15.4. For comparison, here are UWM shot totals over the past six years through 10 games:
Senior Keegan Ziada and junior Cody Banks are among the league leaders in the category - Ziada is tied for second with 28 attempts and Banks is tied for sixth at 25. Freshman Gerardo Saavedra is now also tied for 10th with 21.
In addition, Milwaukee is first in the league in points (58), goals (20) and assists (18).
TRENDING TOWARDS OFFENSE
The Panthers continue to keep up the pressure in maintaining a recent trend from the 2010 season. A year ago, Milwaukee outshot its opponent in 16 of 19 games on the season. That has been the case so far in six of 10 games in 2011, adding up to a 173-141 advantage.
VIDEO COVERAGE EXTENDED
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will produce and air 24 fall home sporting events live on the Horizon League Network this season. That extended coverage benefits the men's soccer team in the form of nine contests over the course of the 2011 regular season. Nate Lisko and Matt Menzl return as the main announcers for home Milwaukee events on HLN, beginning with the IPFW game Aug. 26. A number of fall Panther events on the road will also be available through the Horizon League Network. Those broadcasts are produced by the home school, with a full listing of those events available at horizonleague.com.
EXHIBITION SEASON REWIND
Milwaukee came through the 2011 exhibition season at a perfect 2-0, winning a pair of games in different fashions. First up was a 3-2 victory in the alumni game, followed by a 1-0 win over Lewis to close out the exhibition slate.
ON A ROLL BETWEEN SEASONS
The Panthers played 11 games in between the time the 2010 campaign came to a close and the start of the new campaign when you add up the total number of matches played in the spring and exhibition play this fall. Their record in those 11 games was an impressive 8-0-3, outscoring their opponents by a total of 24-to-8.
FINDING THE NET
Head coach Chris Whalley has had teams that have scored plenty of goals over the course of his young career. In fact, his Lees-McRae team was eighth in the country in goals per game his final season (2.74 gpg) and led the nation at 3.33 per contest in 2007.
THE GOAL IS NO GOALS
Junior John Shakon earned a spot on the 37th Panther Invitational All-Tournament Team after posting back-to-back shutouts in the two games. The clean sheets were the ninth and 10th of his UWM career and his first consecutive shutouts since beating Loyola (1-0, Oct. 16) and Oakland (2-0 Oct. 20) last season.
CHANGE IS IN THE AIR
The roster continues to undergo changes and this past offseason was no different. Head coach Chris Whalley brought in a strong group of 12 newcomers, with 10 freshmen and a pair of key transfers rounding out the new group.
Players from overseas continue to be added to the roster, with players from England (six) now accounting for the nine players total from overseas wearing a UWM uniform this season.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Junior goalkeeper John Shakon set a few school marks two years ago when he played every minute in net of the 2009 campaign. He tied the school mark for most games by a freshman goalkeeper (Paul Royal, 18 in 1993) and set the standard for most minutes as a freshman with 1663:05 (was 1625). He ended up leading the Horizon League with 84 saves, including two on penalty kicks over the course of the season.
MORE WITH COACH WHALLEY
Look for a weekly audio podcast of the "Chris Whalley Show", as we sit down weekly with Chris to revisit the week that was and talk about the upcoming schedule. The first episode was made available Aug. 24 and will follow with a new episode every Monday during the course of the 2011 campaign.
The show is available as a link off the main UWM website page or directly at www.uwmpanthers.cstv.com/genrel/podcasts.html.
UWM'S NEW HOME TURF
A new synthetic playing surface was installed at Engelmann, giving the Panthers a FIFA Two-Star Field, with the new Polytan playing surface the first of its kind in North America.
Engelmann Stadium has been the home of Panther soccer since the 1970's, and soccer supporters have been stepping forward to help with improvements to what is considered one of the best college soccer environments in the country.
The Panthers return home and remain in Horizon League play, welcoming Wright State to Engelmann Stadium Saturday for a 7 p.m. match under the lights.