Milwaukee takes down Marquette to win the Cup

In front of a packed crowd of 3,312 at Engelmann Stadium, the Milwaukee Panthers scored two first-half goals and played outstanding defense in the second half to secure a 2-1 victory over the No. 12/10/8 Marquette Golden Eagles, regaining the Milwaukee Cup in the 41st installment of the storied college soccer derby.

Scoring got off to a fast start. At the one-minute mark, Declan Rodriguez scored his second goal against Marquette in as many matches by finding the back of the net following a free kick from Laurie Bell.   The goal was the third-fastest in Engelmann Stadium history, and calmed the nerves in the crowd.

That feeling was brief, however, as Marquette’s C. Nortey banged home the equalizer in the 17th minute. Nortey, who missed all of 2012 due to injury, collected the ball after it ricocheted off a Panther’s leg and knocked it home.

Just ten minutes later, yet another attack from Milwaukee put them ahead for good. Rami Younes, a junior making his first start for the Panthers, played an excellent cross in front of the goal. Marquette goalkeeper Charlie Lyon had no shot at stopping the goal from senior Austin Toth.

From that moment on, it was a parade of missed opportunities for both clubs. Marquette had 14 shots on the night, but a stout Milwaukee defense played up to their opponent’s level and held the line. Freshman goalkeeper Liam Anderson was particularly excellent, making six saves, all great but none better than the frozen rope he slapped over the crossbar in the 83rd minute from Sebastian Jansson.

In his first start in goal, the kiwi Anderson held his own and played like a grizzled veteran. Marquette’s attacking was relentless, but Anderson was up to the task. The Auckland, New Zealand native ended the match with six saves.

Marquette had some stellar play from their own defense, especially Axel Sjoberg, but the Golden Eagles couldn’t get it done. Sjoberg was a key player on the offensive end as well for Marquette, as every corner kick they attempted was a play to get a header for Sjoberg. Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman’s strategy was to double-team Sjoberg relentlessly, with 6’2” senior Andrew Stone – a transfer from Green Bay – marking the 6’7” All-American.

Up next – Drake on Friday, Bowling Green on Sunday; both on HLN

The Panthers and Golden Eagles will both participate in the 39th annual Panther Invitational at Engelmann Stadium next weekend. Friday night opens at 5 p.m. with Marquette taking on Bowling Green, while the Panthers take on the Drake Bulldogs. Sunday the teams switch, with Milwaukee hosting Bowling Green at Engelmann at noon and the Golden Eagles taking on Drake at Valley Fields. Marquette opens their home schedule on Sunday against Green Bay at 4 p.m.

Man of the Match – Liam Anderson, GK

Anderson was #flatout outstanding Friday night. The freshman keeper didn’t play like a freshman making his first start. He stepped up to the challenge and made six saves. The one goal Marquette got caromed off a Milwaukee defender’s leg before C. Nortey knocked it home, so it’s unfortunate that Anderson had to take that knock to his credit.

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