MILWAUKEE - Nick Moon scored in the second minute and goalkeeper Sam Glass recorded his second straight shutout to help the Milwaukee men's soccer team to 2-0 victory over Bradley University on a rainy, cold Tuesday evening at Engelmann Stadium.
Moon started the Panthers (4-4-1) off right and Glass made eight saves to keep the Braves (2-7-1) off the scoreboard. Magnus Flaatedal added an insurance goal on a penalty kick late in the second half to put the game away.
"That's another goal for Nick Moon," UWM head coach Kris Kelderman said. "He's got some pace and he got through and broke it. We talked about it, with the rain and the elements, playing on turf, when you take that shot, you have to get it on the ground and he did it just perfectly."
With the rain falling the entire night, the game conditions were a challenge. Players were slipping, balls were skidding and teams had to adjust.
Moon provided the fireworks just 1:49 in, taking a sideline pass from Josh Kaye, dribbling towards the middle of the field and sneaking the shot just inside the right post from about 20 yards away. The strike was the fastest of the season in any game for UWM, whose earliest prior to tonight was netted in the 25th minute.
Bradley did well to gain an equal footing and actually was in charge of possession and chances the rest of the half. The Braves accounted for the remaining six shots of the frame, forcing four saves by Glass, including a couple of spectacular ones. Glass was at his best in the 33rd minute, leaping at the last second to punch a long free kick just over the crossbar.
"He (Glass) had a very good game," Kelderman said. "But I tell you what, our team defense was outstanding. Last game and especially today. This is not an easy team to play against. There are 50-50 balls, long throw-ins, corner kicks, they are very good at that stuff. We had to roll up our sleeves and fight today. It wasn't necessarily the prettiest game and we understand that. I tell you what, the guys came through and fought big time."
The Panthers came out and had some opportunities in the second, going on to record five more shots. Evan Conway forced a save from the wing in the 54th minute and Moon was denied the brace, with Logan Ketterer making a phenomenal save from close range after Moon had settled and blasted a pass from Matthias Binder.
The team defense was impressive for Milwaukee again, helping to record a second clean sheet in a row. Bradley used a 5-to-1 advantage in corner kicks and long throw-ins into the box to create numerous dangerous opportunities.
Kaye nearly had a goal of his own in the 70th minute, volleying a free kick that came back out to him on target, whizzing inches over the crossbar at the far post.
Peter Raymonds helped set up the eventual insurance tally, feeding Francesco Saporito with a pass threaded through the backline into the penalty area. Saporito was taken down and the PK was awarded.
Flaatedal stepped to the spot, calmly sending the attempt just inside the left post for the first goal of his Milwaukee career at the 80:24 mark.
Glass made one more nice stop in the 86th minute to preserve the shutout. The Braves corner kick was played back out to the wing, but Glass was there to save the skidding attempt with pace back on target.
For the game, the Panthers ended up being outshot, 15-to-6, including 8-to-4 in shots on goal. They were also whistled for 11 of the 20 fouls. Moon was the only player to get credit for more than one shot, taking two.
The victory gets UWM back to .500 on the season, having now posting a 3-1-1 record in its past five game. Up next, it's back to league play on Saturday, welcoming Detroit Mercy to town for a 7 p.m. tilt under the lights.