PantherU

Milwaukee breaks the top 25

UPDATE: Soccer America now has Milwaukee ranked #25 in the country! Now that’s what I call a good move!

For the first time in eight years, the Milwaukee Panthers beat a nationally-ranked opponent during the regular season. It was the first time since Louis Bennett was head coach of the Milwaukee Panthers, which made it all the more fitting that he be the coach they beat.

But the question comes to mind: should Milwaukee, which beat the No. 12/10/8 (depending on which poll you read) Marquette Golden Eagles in the Milwaukee Cup, get voted into the Top 25 when it is released on Tuesday?

Milwaukee will most certainly be receiving votes as they toppled a team many believe will win the Big East and contend for a national title. But a top 25 ranking isn’t out of the question.

Eight Top 25 teams lost their first match of the season. While you can’t expect all of them to drop out – Georgetown and Marquette are most certainly safe – the fact is some will. The Panthers had the most impressive upset as well, outside of California upsetting No. 3 Georgetown.

One thing we know for sure is that Milwaukee is attacking well and their new goalkeeper, Liam Anderson, is top notch. If the Panthers can cure some defensive lapses, the Horizon League table could look pretty great come November.

How did the rest of the Horizon League teams do?

Preseason favorite Cleveland State got walloped by Pac-12 doormat Oregon State 3-0 to open their season at the Nike Portland Invitational. It was an unfortunate result for the Vikings, who played fairly well despite the result and out shot the Beavers. Cleveland State took a 2-1 lead through most of the second half before Portland tied it up with minutes remaining in the second match of the Nike Portland Invitational. This time, the Vikings were the victors, scoring moments into the second overtime to take a 3-2 victory.

Detroit failed to reach goal to beat the IUPUI Jaguars in their opener, but the Titans’ stout defense was able to keep the Jaguars out of the goal. Juggernaut goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher had four saves in the contest.

Green Bay took down Big East cellar-dweller DePaul in an 84-minute rain-shortened matchup. Freshman midfielder Audi Jepson scored the winning goal for the Phoenix. The rain almost shortened their match on Sunday with Marquette, but the Phoenix got in a full match and overtime without being able to quite get past Marquette for good. The 85th minute saw Green Bay’s Sebastian Xiong score the tying goal, and that would be it as the two Wisconsin sides tied, 3-3.

Brand new Horizon League club Oakland got a goal from Joey Tinnion in the 86th minute to tie host Pittsburgh in their opener. Oakland also got a goal from Sean Magee. The Golden Grizzlies and Panthers were unable to score in thirty minutes of overtime and tied 2-2. Unfortunately, the Golden Grizzlies couldn’t win on Sunday, dropping a goal in the 97th minute to lose to Duquesne, 1-0.

While rain shortened the Green Bay match, UIC was unable to even get their scheduled opener against Eastern Illinois off the ground. The Flames lost their Sunday match to UC Santa Barbara when Goffin Boyoka got a ball past UIC goalkeeper Andrew Putna in the 39th minute to win 1-0. The brutal match at Flames Field featured nine yellow cards and one red card, with only two of the yellows coming from UIC.

Horizon League reigning Regular Season champion Valparaiso had to play with ten men on Friday night at Jacksonville when Daniel Killen was sent off following what the referee characterized as a “high elbow.” The Crusaders ended up tying the Dolphins, 0-0. In their match Sunday, Julio Velasquez tied the score at 1-1 but the Crusaders were unable to score from then on and settled for a second tie, 1-1.

Wright State had their game against the Kentucky Wildcats postponed for – no joke – a power outage. The game has been rescheduled for November 5th, with the Raiders now playing their opener against Marshall on September 6th at Alumni Field.

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