NCAA First Round
Milwaukee v. #13 UCF
Game #21 Nov. 13 5 pm
Media: Gametracker, Live Blog
Game #22 Nov. 15 1 pm
Media: Gametracker, Live Blog
Coach Moynihan Weekly Podcast
Complete Release in PDF Format
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Nov. 11, 2009) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team heads to Madison, Wis., this weekend for the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers take on No. 13 UCF Friday at 5 p.m. The winner advances to Sunday's showdown with the winner of host Wisconsin and Arizona State.
Milwaukee is making its seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament, posting an 0-6-2 record in games played in the 1997, 2000-01, 2005-06 and 2008 tourneys. The Panthers have twice advanced to the second round, doing so in 2005 and 2006. They are also playing in Wisconsin for the fourth time after three trips to tournament games at Marquette in 2001-02 and 2005.
How We Got Here
UWM qualified for the NCAA Tournament on the strength of its sixth Horizon League Tournament championship. The Panthers, playing as the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 4 Loyola in the semifinals last Friday, 2-0, and shut out No. 3 Valparaiso on Sunday in the title game. Milwaukee claimed the league's automatic berth. It previously earned an at-large bid in 2006.
Panthers figured quite prominently in the Horizon League's post-season awards when the winners were announced after the regular season. Sophomore Sarah Hagen was named the league player of the year, while freshman Helen Steinhauser gave the program its second-straight newcomer of the year. Head coach Michael Moynihan was named Co-Coach of the Year, marking his seventh COY award. Hagen was joined on the all-league first team by senior Kate Megna and junior Sarah Talbert. Senior Erin Kreuser and junior Nicole Sperl were selected to the all-league second team and Steinhauser was joined on the all-newcomer team by freshman Jamie Forbes.
With a 1-0 win over Wright State Oct. 18, Milwaukee claimed a 10th-straight Horizon League regular season championship. That streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, behind only Penn State of the Big Ten with 11.
Sarah Hagen has scored a point in a school-record 12-straight games. The streak began when she scored goals in a school-record nine-straight games from Sept. 18-Oct. 18. She tallied an assist at Green Bay in just 32 minutes of action, before scoring five goals over her last two games. She previously held the point (9) and goal-scoring streaks (7, twice), originally setting them last season.
A Hat Trick Of Hat Tricks
Sarah Hagen has been on fire this season, racking up goals at a feverish pace. Over her last 10 games, she has 22 goals, including three hat tricks. Two of the hat tricks have been school record-tying four-goal games. She had a hat trick by the 25th minute at Valparaiso Oct. 4 and added a fourth goal on a second-half penalty kick. Five days later, she scored three goals in less than eight minutes during the second half against Cleveland State. Then, last Sunday in the league title game, it was deja' vu. Playing Valpo again, she tallied three goals by the 25th minute and tallied No. 4 in the second half.
Yeah, People Have Noticed
A large quantity of weekly awards have been bestowed upon Sarah Hagen over the second half of the season. Oct. 19, she was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the fifth-straight week. She was also named to the Soccer America National Team of the Week for the third-straight week and the TopDrawerSoccer.com NTOW for the second. The awards have been topped off by National Player of the Week honors from Soccer America, also Oct. 19 and Nov. 9. She has earned league POW honors a league-record eight times in her career and 10 NTOW awards from various publications.
Helping Out Her Friends
Kate Megna has been posting some gaudy numbers of her own, doing so in the assist category. She entered the year with 20 assists, needing seven to break the school's career assist record. Well, she has sprinted by that mark with a school-record 16 so far this season. The old mark was 12, which she had tied last season. The Middleton, Wis., native now has a school-record 36 career assists and had an eight-game point-scoring streak (Oct. 2-Nov. 6). That point-scoring streak was the third-best in school history.
Done It Once, Doing It Again
As a freshman in 2008, Sarah Hagen scored a school and league-record 24 goals and broke the school record for points in a season with 54. This season, her numbers are nearly identical. She has equaled her goal record with 24 and is one point back of her school point record. She is also two points shy of the league record for points in a season (55). Even more impressive is that her 2009 numbers so far are in 20 games, while she played 23 in 2008.
Rising To The Top
Milwaukee now boasts the leading goal-scorer and assist-maker in NCAA Division I in Sarah Hagen and Kate Megna. In the NCAA statistical leaders released Monday, Hagen is first with 24 goals and 1.200 goals per game. She is also third with 53 points and 2.65 points per game. Meanwhile, Megna continues to lead the country with 16 assists and a 0.84 assist-per-game average. Second place has one less assist in two more games for a 0.71 average.
Stingy In Goal
Jamie Forbes got her career off to an auspicious start with four-straight shutouts, becoming the first keeper in school history with four shutouts to start her career. In doing so, she handily broke the school record for shutout streak to start a career. Her 411:06 stretch topped the old mark of 224:45, set by Linda Moynihan in 1990. Well, Forbes is back at it, as she has now gone six games without conceding a goal, posting five shutouts in that time. That streak has spanned 539:23, the fourth-longest scoreless streak in school history. She is also the first player that is not Erin Kane to post a 500-minute scoreless streak in school history.
Streaking To The NCAA Tournament
The Panthers are riding a 10-game winning streak into this weekend. That is the second-longest winning streak in school history, trailing only their 11-game winning streak from the 2006 season. Over the last 10 games, UWM is averaging 3.8 goals per game (38 total) and has allowed just four goals.
Coming Up Next
The winner of Friday's two first round games meet on Sunday. The winner of that game advances to play the winner of the Boston College regional that includes Boston U., Harvard and Connecticut.
Last Weekend - Horizon League Tournament
Makenzie Gillaspie and Sarah Hagen scored goals to lead the Panthers past Loyola in the league semifinals Friday. Sunday, in the league title game, Hagen tied a school record with four goals and Gillaspie assisted on two of them in a 4-0 win over Valparaiso. Hagen was named tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by Gillaspie, Jamie Forbes, Nicole Sperl and Kate Megna.
A Look At The Opposition - UCF
The Knights of UCF earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament and are a No. 3 seed. They are currently No. 13 in the NSCAA National Poll with a 16-4-1 record. UCF owns a win over then-No. 4 Florida State and won the Conference USA regular season title with a 10-1 record. Courtney Whidden leads four double-digit scorers with 24 points on nine goals and four assists. Two keepers have seen time in the nets for the Knights, with Aline Reis making 16 starts and sporting a 1.01 goals against average with six shutouts.
Milwaukee and UCF will be meeting for the fourth time. The Panthers lead the all-time series, 3-0, with 1-0 wins against the Knights in 1997, 1998 and 2005. The 2005 matchup was decided on a Sarah Teegarden goal in overtime in Orlando.
A Look At The Other Side
Wisconsin is a familiar foe for UWM, while the Panthers have never played Arizona State. Both teams reached the tournament with at-large bids. The Badgers are 9-5-5 and went 5-1-4 in Big Ten play. UW owns a 17-4-5 series edge over Milwaukee, but the Panthers are 3-0-1 in the last four meetings. The ASU Sun Devils are 9-7-1 and made the tournament out of the Pacific 10 Conference.
According to CollegeSoccer360.com, the 2009 Panther seniors are 12th in the nation with a .750 winning percentage over their careers (59-16-11). As freshman, they played on 16-4-2 squad in 2006, before going 13-4-4 in 2007. Last season, UWM went 18-3-2 and the team is 12-5-3 so far in 2009. The group has led the program to four league regilar season titles, a league tournament crown and played in two NCAA Tournaments.
Getting It Done...
Milwaukee finished league play with an 8-0 record, its fifth perfect league season since 2000. It was also the league's first perfect season since adding an eighth league game. In addition to that, UWM has four unbeaten seasons (one tie) in team history. In league history, there have only been four other perfect seasons (three by Notre Dame) and one other unbeaten season (UND).
... And How!
A tough non-league schedule seemed to have helped, as the Panthers were on fire in league play. In running the table in league play, UWM outscored its opponents 43-4 and conceded just 13 shots on goal. Milwaukee has also forced league keepers into 76 saves as a part of 108 shots on goal. Individually, Sarah Hagen had 15 goals, which is more than any team in league play. Kate Megna also had 11 league assists and Keara Thompson 11 league points (3g, 5a).
State Of Play
The Panthers went 1-1-1 against three in-state foes this season following their 4-1 win at Green Bay last Monday. It was their 2-0 loss to Marquette Sept. 3, that ended their 11-game unbeaten streak against state schools. UWM had gone undefeated against the other three Division I schools in Wisconsin for the second time in three seasons in 2008 and had not lost to a state team since 2005.
Home Field Advantage
UWM has not lost a regular season league home game in over 10 years, a span of 36 games (35-0-1). All-time, the Panthers are 45-4-1 at home in league play. The only league team to defeat Milwaukee on its home field since 1998 was Detroit in the 2006 league semifinals, 1-0.
Return Of The M.A.C.
Sarah Hagen was one of 45 players named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy watch list, the NSCAA announced Aug. 11. The award is given to the national player of the year each year. Hagen had a breakout freshman campaign in 2008, scoring a school and league-record 24 goals and shattering the school record for points with 54. She was a consensus Freshman First-Team All-American and was named a Fourth-Team All-American by Soccer Buzz.
Packing Them In
One bright spot to come from UWM's 2-0 loss to Marquette Sept. 3 was the school-record crowd of 1,307. That figure trumped the previous mark of 867 set at the 2007 Milwaukee/Marquette meeting. In the first three home games this season, the Panthers drew the No. 1 and No. 8-largest crowds in school history (577 v. Michigan). The No. 7-largest crowd (582) was on hand for the league semifinals against Loyola Nov. 6. The team finished the season averaging a school-record 507 fans per game.
UWM claimed a third-straight Milwaukee Cup title this season, scoring a 6-0 win over Michigan and a 1-0 victory over Rice. Senior Kate Megna led the offensive attack on Friday, tallying two goals and two assists, while Sarah Hagen chipped in a goal and two assists. On Sunday, Megna tallied another assist on sophomore Laurel Ragalie's game-winner.
Kate Megna was named the Milwaukee Cup tournament MVP. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Sarah Hagen, junior Nicole Sperl, sophomore Makenzie Gillaspie and freshman Helen Steinhauser. Megna was last named MVP of the Minnesota Gold Classic last season.