This Week In Panther Soccer
Game #1: Wisconsin (6-11-1 in '07) @ Milwaukee (13-4-4 in '07)
Friday, Aug. 22 7 p.m. Engelmann Field
Gameday Media: Gametracker, TV (TWS-32)
Complete Release in PDF Format
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Aug. 19, 2008) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team kicks off its 2008 season Friday, hosting in-state rival Wisconsin at Engelmann Field.
The "Silver" Anniversary
The Panthers are kicking off their 25th season Friday. The team will be celebrating the occasion all season long, recognizing outstanding achievements and moments in UWM women's soccer history. The squad will also be wearing special patches commemorating the season.
All-Time Starting XI
Prior to Friday's match, Milwaukee will honor its All-Time Starting XI. A 25th Anniversary Team of 26 current and former players was announced in June. Alumni, fans and supporters were then asked to vote on a starting 11. The players named to the Starting XI will be honored in a short pre-game ceremony.
Among the other events this season will be the counting down of the 10 greatest games in school history and the recognition of the greatest team in school history. The game countdown will extend throughout the season, with No. 1 being revealed in the regular season finale Oct. 26. The greatest team will be honored at halftime of the Panthers' Oct. 24 match against Detroit.
More Pregame Festivities
The UWM Alumni Association is hosting a tailgate party prior to the start of Friday's game with the Badgers. The first 250 people eat free, with alumni and their guests paying just $1 after that.
On The Air
Friday's game is one of two Milwaukee women's soccer games this season that will be taped for air on Time Warner Sports. The Panthers return to the air waves later in the season when TWS will tape their Sept. 3 showdown at Marquette. UWM and Marquette's 2007 contest was also aired on TWS, the station's first live broadcast ever.
A Look At The Opposition - Wisconsin
The Badgers return seven starters from 2007 when they went 6-11-1 and finished 10th in the Big Ten. UW returns its top two scorers in Tricia Krombach (4g, 2a - 10 points) and Taylor Walsh (4, 1 - 9), as well as starting goalkeeper Jamie Klages, who tallied six shutouts and posted a 1.29 goals against average in 2007. Wisconsin had one exhibition match last week, falling to Marquette, 2-1.
The Panthers have defeated the Badgers in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever. Wisconsin leads the all-time series 17-3-4, with UWM also gaining a win in 2002. The two teams have met every year but one since Milwaukee's first season in 1984. While the two teams did not play in 1987 due to the Panthers cancelling their season, they did play twice in UWM's inaugural season of 1984.
Let's Get It Started
Milwaukee is kicking off its 25th season of women's soccer and has gone 9-14-1 all-time in season-openers. The Panthers have also opened the season against Wisconsin twice, falling in 1993 and 2000. The last time UWM did not open its season with the Milwaukee Cup was 1999. Its most notable opening-day win was in 1998 when the Panthers defeated No. 8 Nebraska, 2-1 in two overtimes, in Lincoln.
UWM is carrying a six-game unbeaten streak against state schools into action this week. The Panthers have played the state's other three Division I schools in each of the last two seasons, going 3-0 for the first time ever in 2006. Last season, Milwaukee went 2-0-1, defeating Wisconsin and Green Bay, but tying Marquette.
More Streaks To Keep An Eye On
The Panthers are unbeaten in their last four games against the Big Ten Conference (2-0-2).
Milwaukee has not lost an overtime game since Sept. 12, 2004, a streak of 23-straight overtime contests without a loss (10-0-13).
Senior Erin Kane has yet to concede a goal in overtime, playing 302:28 of scoreless overtime in her career.
Rocketing Past Toledo - UWM 3, Toledo 0
The Panthers played one intercollegiate exhibition match this season, downing Toledo 3-0. Freshman Laurel Ragalie got her UWM career off on the right track with a pair of second-half goals. Junior Erin Kreuser got the scoring started with the game-winner in the 25th minute and freshman Sarah Hagen assisted on all three scores.
From One End To The Other
While Laurel Ragalie found the back of the net twice in the Panther debut, another freshman made an even more auspicous start to her career in the black and gold in Sarah Hagen. The 5-foot-11 forward was a threat on the offensive end for UWM, playing all 45 minutes of the first half and assisting on Erin Kreuser's game-winning goal. In the second half, she picked up two assists--as a goalkeeper. With the top three keepers on the depth chart inactive for the second half, Hagen stepped up and made one save to preserve the shutout. More importantly, she assisted on both of Ragalie's goals with long punts over the midfield stripe.
Annual Alumni Game
UWM's final preparation for the upcoming season came over the weekend in the form of the team's annual alumni game. The Panthers topped its alumni, 6-0, behind a pair of goals from freshman Chelsea Colling.
Heading To The Top
Head coach Michael Moynihan enters the 2008 season with 132 wins, just four back of Louis Bennett for most wins by a soccer coach in school history. Bennett coached the men's team from 1996 to 2005 and racked up 136 wins. Only two other coaches have won 100 soccer games for Milwaukee.
Just Gets Earlier And Earlier
Friday's game with Wisconsin will be the earliest regular season game ever played by the Panthers by three days. Twice the team has started the regular season on Aug. 25. All told, the team has begun the season in August every year, but one (1998), since 1996.
Prognosticators Pick Panthers
For the ninth consecutive year, Milwaukee has been picked to win the Horizon League in the annual preseason coaches' poll. The Panthers garnered seven first place votes and tallied 63 points. Loyola, which finished second to UWM last season, was picked second with two first-place nods and 58 total points. Milwaukee has won the last eight league regular season crowns.
The Panthers enter the 2008 season having won the last eight Horizon League regular season titles. The streak is the second-longest nation, behind only Penn State's streak of 10 Big Ten titles.
Back In Black (And Gold)
Milwaukee returns 17 letterwinners from last season, including seven starters. The list of returners includes all-league first team members Erin Kane, Sarah Teegarden and Kate Megna. The Panthers also return four of their top five scorers in sophomore Nicole Sperl (team-high 14 points), junior Erin Kreuser (2nd with 13), Megna and Teegarden.
Welcome To Milwaukee
Despite having seven returning starters and 17 letterwinners, the Panthers will have eight newcomers vying for playing time this season. Heading that list are Gatorade Wisconsin State Player of the Year Laurel Ragalie, Appleton Post-Crecent Female Co-Players of the Year Sarah Hagen and Chelsea Colling and a four-time all-state honoree in Makenzie Gillaspie. Keara Thompson, Mary Wandolowski, Sammy Vovos and Lindsay Boeckman round out a talented freshman class.
While the 2007 season did not end in the NCAA Tournament like Milwaukee hoped it would, it still was another successful season for the Panthers. They went 13-4-4, won an eighth-straight Horizon League regular season championship and advanced to the league title game for a league-record ninth time.
The Panthers continue the early portion of their schedule when they host the Milwaukee Cup. The format will be new this season, with the tourney getting underway Wednesday, Aug. 27, against Ohio State. UWM then takes on Samford on Friday.