Panthers Play To Scoreless Draw With #24 South Carolina
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Aug. 17, 2012) - Jamie Forbes made eight saves to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team to a scoreless draw against 24th-ranked South Carolina Friday evening at Engelmann Stadium.
The Panthers, who are receiving votes in the NSCAA National Poll, picked up their eighth result all-time against a ranked opponent and sixth tie. The game was the season-opener for both teams and the first for UWM under new head coach Greg Henschel.
After a bit of a slow start, Milwaukee went right at the Gamecocks, playing with more confidence as the game went on. SC looked to use its size to dictate the pace of play, but over time the Panthers wrestled away momentum and carried it through much of the match.
Forbes came up big with the help of a rebuilt defensive line in front of her. Emily Scott was a starter all last season and was joined in the opening lineup over the final four games by Stephanie Condon on the outside. In the opener, the duo was joined Hannah Kaul and Caity Bestwina to form a solid group.
A couple highlight saves for the senior keeper came in the 32nd and 84th minutes. The first save was on a close-range header. Then, late in regulation, South Carolina looked like it may have a break on goal, as Danielle Au had a clean shot on goal stopped by Forbes. Au got her own rebound, but a Panther defender stepped up to block the shot from just outside the six-yard box.
While the defense may have been the story for UWM, the offense was not without its chances. Kaul had a strong header off a corner kick sail over the bar, but the highlight of the night came shortly after Au's opportunity. Vienna Behnke received a ball from the midfield and played a beautiful, one-touch pass into the box freeing Kelly Lewers for a clean shot on goal. Unfortunately, the shot was straight at the keeper.
Darien Vercillo matched Forbes in goal for the Gamecocks. She made three saves for a shutout of her own.
Au had a game-high six shots for SC, while Taylor Leach finished with five shots. For the Panthers, Lewers led the way on offense with four shots.
Milwaukee returns to action Sunday, hosting St. Bonaventure. Kick-off is scheduled for noon at Engelmann Stadium.