#10/9 Panthers Knock Off Loyola For Outright League Championship
CHICAGO, Ill. (Oct. 20, 2011) - The No. 10/9 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team scored three first-half goals and played tight defense in the second half to defeat Loyola 3-0 Thursday evening at Loyola Soccer Park.
The Panthers (15-1, 7-0) won for the ninth-straight game and clinched the Horizon League outright regular season championship. UWM had claimed at least a share on Wednesday with Wright State's win over Detroit. The Ramblers (4-10-3, 0-4-2 Horizon) are still in search of their first league win of the season.
Sarah Hagen assisted on one goal and scored a second inside the first seven-plus minutes to get an early lead that Milwaukee did not relinquish. Kelsey Holbert scored that first goal and Keara Thompson found the back of the net just before halftime to give the team all the offense it would need.
"It was nice to score early and take some of the pressure off," UWM head coach Michael Moynihan said. "It helped a lot to relax us and getting two was fantastic. I thought they were nice goals, Kelsey's in particular. Sometimes when it seems like things come early in the beginning of the game, it seems like we take our foot off the gas and lose our intensity."
In the sixth minute, Hagen sent a ball out wide inside the penalty area and Holbert blasted it far post for the eventual game-winner. Just 106 seconds later, Hagen was awarded a penalty kick after being taken down in the box. She stepped up to the spot and calmly converted.
Hagen now has 19 goals on the season and has scored goals in eight-straight games.
Thompson gave the Panthers the 3-0 lead in the final minute of the first half, taking a pass from fellow Canadian Demi Price and blasting a low shot just inside the post.
After halftime, Milwaukee's defense took over. It conceded the shot advantage to the homestanding Ramblers, but was rarely threatened. Jamie Forbes made five saves in goal for her ninth shutout of the season.
For the game, Loyola held a 12-8 edge in shots and the Ramblers took the game's only two corner kicks.
Two keepers split time for LUC with Katie Groesch making a pair of saves while playing the second half.
The Panthers return to action Sunday, playing at Illinois State.