PantherU

Close game against in-state rival

Although it was a cold, Fall evening at Engelmann Stadium, nearly 1,150 were on hand to watch the Wisconsin Badgers (9-3-2) take on the Milwaukee Panthers (10-2-2), in a game that came down to the wire. With neither team having an advantage offensively, this game could have gone either way, but instead it ended in a 1-1 tie through two overtime periods.

The first 45 minutes were back and fourth, but neither team was able to do a whole lot offensively. Milwaukee had the slight advantage in shots with six compared to Wisconsin’s five, but the Badgers recorded four of the six corner kicks.

It was not until late in the second half that everyone in attendance would finally witness some scoring. After near misses, the Panthers finally had their chance to take the lead. In the 83rd minute of action a Badger player was fouled for a handball inside the box, giving the Panthers a penalty kick. Junior midfielder, Laurie Bell lined up to take the penalty kick, and was able to find the back of the net, to give Milwaukee the 1-0 lead with seven minutes remaining.

“It was funny because I missed my last one, and I’ve been debating changing it up,” Bell said. “And I did. I went down the middle. I just wanted to get a good connection on it, put it on target and hope the keeper dives the other way. And he did. So I was happy to get the goal.”

With only seven minutes left it seemed like there was no way the Badgers would be able to tie the game up, but only 22 seconds later, they did just that.

“Its disappointing because you always talk about trying to be sharp the next couple minutes after you score a goal. I don’t know if it was a matter of we’re still in celebration mode or not,” said head coach Kris Kelderman. “Obviously they got the ball out wide, got a free serves in, one almost two guys left open in the box. Lesson be learned, can’t celebrate too much, when there is a game still going on.”

This game ended up going into overtime, but neither team was able to do any damage. In the first overtime period, Panthers goalie, Liam Anderson, was forced to make a save, but in the second overtime neither team recorded a shot.

For the entire game the Panthers led in shots with 17 compared to the Badgers 13, with Bell recording seven of them. The Badgers did have more corner kicks recording 11 of the 16, and were logged for 18 of the 31 fouls.

Although the Panthers would have liked to beat their in-state rival, a tie is better than a loss, and it is now time to focus on their opponent this Saturday night.

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies (5-4-5, 3-0-1) are currently sitting right above the Panthers in conference, as they are second in the Horizon League standings. The Golden Grizzlies will be a tough team to beat as they are good on both sides of the ball, but the Panthers have the experience and capability to knock off a team like Oakland.

“Oakland is a good team. They are undefeated in our conference. Obviously conference play is the number one priority for us,” said Kelderman. “They are a good team, they play quality soccer, they are a hard working team, they play good team defense, and we got another tough game on our hands.”

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