MILWAUKEE – A pair of second-half goals put the game away, as the Milwaukee women's soccer team extended its winning streak to 10 games with a convincing 3-0 victory over Northern Kentucky Saturday afternoon at Engelmann Stadium.
Despite dominating chances and possession, the Panthers (13-1, 6-0 Horizon League) and Norse (5-8, 2-4 Horizon League) were pitted in a one-goal game until well into the second half. Milwaukee finally took advantage of its opportunities and put the game away with goals in the 72nd and 90th minutes.
"You are always looking for that second goal," head coach Troy Fabiano said. "We talked about that pregame, we've had that past couple of games where you are looking for that second and third goal to put teams away. We were able to find a second one and a third one right at the end."
Holding a 1-0 advantage well into the second half on a 43rd-minute strike from Taylor Hattori, goals from Mackenzie Schill (71:41) and Natalie Auble (89:37) gave the squad a much-deserved outcome.
On the day, the Panthers finished with commanding leads of 24-to-5 in shots, 8-to-1 in shots on goal, 15-to-1 in corner kicks and 60 percent possession overall.
Scoreless until close to intermission, Hattori netted the eventual game-winner on a great individual effort. She made a defender miss carrying the ball into the box, kept possession after a final defender got a piece of the ball and calmly finished to the far past at the 42:24 mark for her fourth goal of the season.
"We had possession and were creating some chances, but I think NKU did a good job keeping numbers behind the ball and limiting our opportunities and then Hayley scores a great goal on an individual effort," Fabiano said. "One of the things we were impressed with at halftime was our player's patience."
Schill nearly had the first goal of the day as well, seeing her shot from a tough angle get pushed up and off the cross bar in the 19th minute.
Holding that one-goal advantage in the second, Haley Johnson had a close-range effort saved in the 48th minute and a great play by the backline NKU defender kept a shot from McKenna Stratton from crossing the goal line in the 70th.
After 10 first-half corner kicks in the first half went empty, Milwaukee finally converted on one for the insurance goal. Auble started the corner, sending to the far post. Rachel Phillpotts sent a volley on frame, getting blocked back to her. Her second shot went to the far post, where Schill was waiting to tap it in at the 71:41 mark.
Schill also sent a far-post header just wide of the post in the 79th minute – one of her game and career-high eight attempts – but was rewarded when she was able to set up a final strike in the closing seconds.
Following a free kick, Chandler McDaniel sent a shot on goal that was blocked. Schill was in front to keep it alive, getting her attempt pushed wide, where Auble was able to slot home with an outstretched foot at the far post to close out the scoring.
Elaina LaMacchia was helped along by a great team defensive effort, needing to make just one save to record her fourth consecutive shutout. With 90 more minutes added to her tally, her scoreless streak of 719:48 jumps into the second-longest in program history, trailing only the school record of 917:27 set by Mallory Geurts in 2017.
The victory was MKE's 10th in a row, marking just the fourth time in program history the team has accomplished the feat. The school record is 11 consecutive victories, accomplished in 2006. It also extended a pair of long streaks to 30, as the Panthers are now unbeaten in their past 30 games (28-0-2) at home in regular-season play and 30 straight (28-0-2) in regular-season Horizon League action.
Up next, the Panthers close out October with a pair of games, starting with a home contest against IUPUI Wednesday. Game time against the Jaguars is set for 7 p.m.