| Game 5 | Milwaukee (1-2-1) @ Illinois (2-1-1)
|| Monday, Sept. 3 | 1 p.m. Central
|| Champaign, Ill. | Illinois Soccer Stadium
| Live Stats
|| Live Blog
Complete Notes in PDF Format
Greg Henschel Show Podcast
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Aug. 28, 2012) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team leaves the city of Milwaukee for the first time this season this weekend, heading to Champaign, Ill., to take on Illinois Friday. The Panthers are looking to shake a two-game losing streak against an Illini team that is on the cusp of the national rankings. Kick-off for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Illinois Soccer Stadium.
The Panthers dropped a pair of games last weekend and sit at 1-2-1 on the young season. After a loss at No. 13 Marquette Friday, Milwaukee fell to Miami (Ohio) Sunday at Engelmann Stadium. The loss snapped an 11-game unbeaten streak (10-0-1) at home.
The Illini are off to a 2-1-1 start this season and are coming off their first loss, a tough 2-0 result at No. 5 UCLA. Illinois is playing without All-American Vanessa DiBernardo who is playing with the U.S. at the U20 World Cup in Japan. The team has scored wins over Western Michigan and UC Santa Barbara, while playing to a draw with Illinois State. Three different players are responsible for the team's three goals, while the defense has conceded just three scores in four games. Steph Panozzo has played every minute in goal and sports a 0.71 goals against average with two shutouts.
UWM and Illinois will be meeting for the third time Saturday, with the Illini winning the last meeting at home in 2009. The teams played to a scoreless tie in their first-ever meeting in 2005 at Engelmann Stadium. The Panthers are 23-45-14 all-time against current members of the Big Ten.
Tough Road Ahead
Milwaukee's 2012 schedule is shaping up to be another tough slate as the team is set to play four nationally-ranked teams. After a scoreless draw against preseason No. 24 South Carolina Aug. 17, UWM played No. 13 Marquette last Friday and hosts No. 14 Wisconsin Sept. 28. The Panthers then close out their non-league slate Oct. 21 against No. 4 Oklahoma State. Milwaukee has two wins and six draws in 35 games all-time against ranked opponents.
Sara Zawacki played just the final 13 minutes against St. Bonaventure, making her collegiate debut and quickly getting on the scoreboard. By scoring in her first game as a Panther, she is the fifth player in school history to score a goal in her UWM debut and the first since Sarah Hagen in 2008. She is just the second to score off the bench, joining Katie Waltenberger in 1998, who also debuted in the second game of the season.
The Milwaukee defense and Jamie Forbes posted back-to-back shutouts to start the season. This marked the fourth time it has happened. As a freshman in 2009, Forbes had four-straight shutouts to start the season, while the 2006 and 1997 teams also had two clean sheets to start their campaigns.
Sammy Vovos scored her first goal of the season against St. Bonaventure. It was a triumphant return to the field for the fifth-year senior. Vovos last scored a goal Oct. 26, 2009, at Green Bay. She then missed the next two seasons with two separate injuries. She played in her first game since 2009 in the season opener vs. South Carolina.
Players of the Week
Amy Kauffung (Offensive) and Jamie Forbes (Defensive) were named the Horizon League Players of the Week for Aug. 20. It was Kauffung's first weekly honor, which she received after scoring a goal and assisting on another vs. St. Bonaventure. Meanwhile, the award is Forbes' third. She stopped all 12 shots she faced in a pair of shutouts, including one of No. 24 South Carolina.
A handful of Panthers were recognized before the season started by various publications that cover women's soccer. Senior keeper Jamie Forbes was named to the watch list for All White Kit's Golden Gloves Award, which is given to the top goalkeeper in the nation. She was also picked to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year and is on the all-league first team by College Sports Madness. CSM also picked Sky Perna as Newcomer of the Year; Emily Scott, Helen Steinhauser and Amy Kauffung as preseason first-team selections; and Krissy Dorre, Kelsey Holbert and Stephanie Condon as second-teamers.
New Man On Campus
Head coach Greg Henschel is in his first season leading the Panthers. He came to Milwaukee from UW-Whitewater, where he racked up 290 wins and 11 NCAA Tournaments in 13 seasons leading both the men's and women's programs. In 2011, both the men and women claimed league titles and NCAA Tournament berths.
Panthers Picked First in Preseason Poll
For the 13th-straight year, Milwaukee topped the Horizon League Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Panthers, who received five first-place votes and 44 points in the poll, shared the top spot with Detroit, which garnered the remaining three first-place nods. UWM has won 12-straight league regular season titles, while Detroit finished second in the league a year ago. Valparaiso was picked third and Wright State, which fell to the Panthers in the league title game, fourth.
The Mighty 300
Both head coach Greg Henschel and the Milwaukee women's soccer program are closing in on monunental win milestones. Henschel entered the season with 290 wins and now is just nine shy of 300. Meanwhile, the Panthers came into 2012 with 286 all-time wins and are now 13 off the mark. UWM has won more than 14 games in a season four times, including twice in four years, while having reached 10 wins in 16 of the least 18 seasons.
Home, Sweet Home
Milwaukee will be excited to get back to Engelmann Stadium for a full home slate, as the team has an undeniable home field advantage. The Panthers have a 55-6-6 record at Engelmann since 2005, including a 24-game unbeaten streak (21-0-3) that came to an end in 2009. That streak is tied for the 14th-longest in NCAA Division I history. UWM also had a regular season league home winning streak reach almost 12 years and 37 games (36-0-1) before ending in 2010. All-time, the Panthers are 52-5-1 at home in league play.
Back in Black (& Gold)
The Panthers return six starters in 2012, led by seniors Jamie Forbes and Helen Steinhauser. Forbes was voted the top keeper in the region last season, while ranking up a 0.67 GAA and 11 shutouts. Steinhauser is the top-returning scorer with four goals and five assists (13 points) last season. She returns in a midfield that boasts sophomore starters Kelsey Holbert and Amy Kauffung.
New in 2012
Twelve freshmen dot the Panther roster for 2012, including five all-state performers last season. Sky Perna was also rated as the No. 13 prospect in the midwest by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Emma Fatla was a three-time all-state honoree in Wisconsin, while Alleina Szydlowski also earned three awards in Michigan. Callie O'Donnell earned all-state honors twice in Illinois, while Chelsea Howe and Maria Stephens were also all-state selections.
More New Faces
In addition to a new head coach and 12 freshmen, Milwaukee also has a new look coaching staff with the addition of Kristen Weiss and Jon Gulrajani. Weiss is on staff as second assistant, while Gulrajani is with the team as a volunteer assistant. Dave Madsen is the lone returning coach, having been promoted to top assistant in the off-season.
Thanks For The Memories
UWM's 2011 senior class certainly made a name for itself in four seasons in a Panther uniform. The class is the first in school history to play in four NCAA Tournaments and won a school-record 61 games. Individually, the five players account for three of the top 10 goal scorers in school history and two more four-year starters. Most notably, Sarah Hagen wrapped up her career with 93 career goals and 212 points--both school and league records and ranking among the best in NCAA Division I history. After UWM, Hagen signed a professional contract with Bayern Munich of the Frauen Bundesliga in Germany and has returned to the club for her second season. Also of note, Keara Thompson (64 career points, fourth in school history) won a WPSL Elite title with the Western New York Flash over the summer and Makenzie Gillaspie (four-year starter) is a graduate assistant with the Nebraska Omaha women's soccer team.
Catch All The Action And More
For the second-straight season, a majority of the Panther home games will be webcast live and free on the Horizon League Network. In fact, beginning with the team's exhibition match against Michigan State, all but one game (Sept. 22 vs. Wright State) will be featured on HLN. In addition to live events, features, highlights and interviews are available at the Black & Gold Network, the department's official YouTube channel. Be sure to check in with BGN for the latest news and action surrounding Milwaukee Women's Soccer.
A Field By Any Other Name...
The Panthers' home field hasn't changed, but the name has. Milwaukee now calls its home Laura Moynihan Field at Engelmann Stadium. A new synthetic surface was put in place in 2010 and it was renamed Laura Moynihan Field last season, honoring the former women's soccer coach. The facility retained the Engelmann name in the form of "Engelmann Stadium." All references to Milwaukee's home stadium should be "on Laura Moynihan Field" or "at Engelmann Stadum."
Up Next - Hitting the Road
Milwaukee returns to the road and Big Ten country, heading to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue Sept. 7.