DETROIT, Mich. – Evan Conway found the back of the net in the 76th minute to send the Milwaukee men's soccer team to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Detroit Mercy Saturday evening at Titan Field.
"That was a very good conference road win for our guys," head coach Kris Kelderman said. "Playing against Detroit is always a very difficult match. They are a physical, athletic group; but the guys did what we needed to do. I feel like we got better and stronger as the game went on, which is a real positive sign."
The Panthers (3-2, 1-0 Horizon League) edged the Titans (2-3, 0-1 Horizon League) in the evenly-matched defensive battle, which was also the first night game in over 55 years as Detroit Mercy debuted its state-of-the-art, $600,000 LED addition.
"Conway had a great goal," Kelderman said. "We created a few other chances and, unfortunately, missed a PK, but I was pleased with the performance and very pleased with the result. It was a great way to open the conference season."
The defensive effort was strong all contest. Milwaukee allowed 10 shots on the night, but only one of them ended up on target. Freddy Lorenzen posted the 15th shutout of his collegiate career, closing out the victory in the final 20 seconds when he sprinted off his line to beat a UDM forward to a breakaway opportunity.
The scoring play started from the back, with Lorenzen sending to Vuk Latinovich and on to Shawn Azcueta. Azcueta played the ball down the right side to Joshua Kidder, who eventually sent a cross to the box after winning the ball back from the defense.
The ball found Henrik Fennefoss, one-touching a nifty redirected pass to Conway, who sent a brilliant left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area back to the near post for what turned out to be the only goal of the contest.
He nearly added an insurance tally, seeing his well-struck header off a Kidder corner kick saved brilliantly just minutes later in the 79th.
Lorenzen made a quality save of his own in the 60th minute to keep it scoreless at the time as well. MKE did have a chance to lead earlier, but Devin Mendez stopped a PK just 19 seconds past intermission.
For the game, the Panthers eked out an 11-to-10 shot advantage, which included a 5-to-1 edge in shots on goal. Both teams had a pair of corners and the 36 fouls were almost split evenly as well (19-17 Panthers).
One of the bigger weeks lies ahead, with the Panthers hosting Marquette Sept. 17 for the annual battle for the "Milwaukee Cup". Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Engelmann Stadium.