MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee women's soccer team scored in the 12th minute and then added four more goals in a 10-minute span before halftime in cruising to a 6-0 victory over IUPUI Wednesday afternoon at Engelmann Stadium.
The Panthers (13-0-3, 6-0-2 Horizon League) made quick work of a Jaguars team (13-4-0, 6-1-0 Horizon League) that came into the match on a 12-game winning streak and undefeated in Horizon League action.
McKaela Schmelzer finished with two goals and an assist, Lourdes Onwuemeka scored twice and Aubrey Krahn added a goal and two assists to lead an impressive offensive performance against an opponent that had posted nine shutouts through its first 16 games.
"Sometimes when the ball bounces your way, it bounces your way," head coach Troy Fabiano said. "I think, confidence-wise, the girls are buzzing around and I think a lot of things went well for us today."
Milwaukee hit the crossbar on a handful of occasions early but found the net at the 11:36 mark. Krahn started the play, sliding the ball off to Taylor Tabbert. Tabbert's service into the goal box was not handled cleanly by the IUPUI keeper and Onwuemeka fought for it. Her first attempt was stopped by a defender but her second was in the net to give UWM the 1-0 advantage.
From there, the goals kept coming.
"We preached to them that it was an important game," Fabiano said. "They came in about business and I think the last two games they have been more focused than normal. And obviously, that is the best time of the year with getting into tournament time and we want to be peaking at the right time. And it seems like we are doing that, hopefully we continue to do that."
Schmelzer tallied her first in the 23rd minute, blasting home a shot off the post that angled right back to her in the front of the goal to make it 2-0.
Krahn was next, pouncing on a loose ball that was deflected when Anna Smalley had a shot from the top of the box, sneaking it inside the left post at the 24:06 mark to extend the lead to 3-0.
Just over five minutes later, Sydney Senn finished nicely in front, following a ball won by Smalley that was taken down the left side before being centered perfectly. Senn drilled home the short shot to make it 4-0 at the 29:29 mark.
Onwuemeka struck next, volleying a loose ball that the defense tried to knock away for her fifth of the season at the 32:46 mark.
The game went to intermission at 5-0, with UWM holding a commanding 14-to-2 shot advantage in the first half.
In the second, Schmelzer closed out the scoring in the 60th minute, there to clean up a dropped ball for her sixth of the season – and fourth in the last two games – after Jen Eberhardy's 40-yard free kick was not handled cleanly by the keeper.
Fabiano subbed freely throughout the second half, with 23 different Panthers seeing time in the contest. In fact, for nearly the final 10 minutes, not a single starter besides Mallory Geurts was even left on the field.
Speaking of Geurts, she recorded four saves for her 12th shutout of the season, back into a tie for tops in the nation and just one off the school and Horizon League record of 13.
Overall, UWM finished with a 24-to-7 advantage in shots (11-to-4 on goal), while also earning 11 of the 12 corner kicks in the match. The Panthers were also whistled for 12 of the 17 fouls. Onwuemeka led the way with five shots, while Krahn was next with four. Smalley and Tabbert each finished with two assists.
Skylar England was credited with three saves in defeat, with her defense picking up a pair of team saves – one preventing Anny West from a pretty header goal in the 88th minute.
Up next is the final home match of the season, set for Saturday against Youngstown State. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. with "Senior Day" festivities taking place pregame.