MILWAUKEE - Josh Kaye had a goal and an assist and Freddy Lorenzen made seven saves to send the Milwaukee men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Marquette Wednesday night at Valley Fields.
"An excellent way to end the night," head coach Kris Kelderman said. "We had a game plan and the guys stuck to it and it worked out. Everything went well. Everyone on the field had a good performance individually, therefore it turns into a great team performance and I couldn't be more proud of the guys."
The Panthers (4-2-1) keep the "Milwaukee Cup" in their possession with the win over the Golden Eagles (3-4-0), improving to 30-11-5 in the all-time series with the decision.
"This game always comes down to the wire," Kelderman said. "It's pretty emotional, both teams really want the victory in a bad way and we finished strong."
Sean Holmes had the first goal of the night, drilling home a rebound off the post that came off the foot of Kaye to make it 1-0 at the 28:40 mark.
"It's huge, getting that first goal," Kelderman said. "Both teams were feeling each other out, trying to see what they were coming at us with. That first goal gives you a confidence boost and settles you down a bit."
Milwaukee nearly doubled the lead in the 42nd minute, again with Kaye starting the play. His service into the box found a charging Vuk Latinovich, with an impressive stop by MU goalkeeper Luis Barraza keeping the advantage at 1-0 heading into intermission.
The Panthers came out aggressively in the second half and were rewarded in the 52nd minute. Suad Suljic played a perfect cross to Evan Conway right in front of goal, only to see another great save pushing the ball away. Kaye was in the right place at the right time, burying the rebound at the 51:20 mark for what proved to be the game-winner.
Marquette did pull one back in the 83rd minute. The Milwaukee defense stood tall down the stretch, with Lorenzen making a final save in the 90th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in front to close it out.
"We had to weather the storm at the end after they picked up a goal," Kelderman said. "But the guys did what they had to do. Overall, I thought it was just a good soccer match – by both teams. It was a good soccer game to be a part of tonight."
Lorenzen had a couple of impressive stops as well, with a highlight-reel punch-away after a thru ball was played in front of goal in the 64th minute maintaining the 2-0 lead at the time.
The first half started slowly for the MKE offense, with the best opportunity early coming in the 22nd minute when Conway carried the ball from near midfield following a turnover, only to see his open shot from the top of the box go whizzing past the wrong side of the left post.
For the game, the home side did record a 16-to-13 advantage in total shots, while also holding a slim 8-7 edge in shots on goal. Milwaukee earned six of the 16 corner kicks in the match, with Conway leading the offensive charge with a team-high four shots.
Up next, the Panthers return to Horizon League play Saturday, visiting Northern Kentucky. Kickoff against the Norse is set for 6 p.m. CST.