MILWAUKEE - Evan Conway scored in the fourth minute to jumpstart a 2-0 victory for the Milwaukee men's soccer team over Penn Sunday night at Engelmann Stadium.
The Panthers (3-2-0) added a second goal at the 20:22 mark against the Quakers (2-1-1), helping set the tone as they handed the visitors their first loss of the campaign.
"We got off to a really good start," head coach Kris Kelderman said. "We tried to emphasize really getting after it, especially the first 10 minutes. Knowing it was a second game in three days and the legs were a little heavy for everyone. We came with really high-energy at the beginning and had two really good services from restarts and good finishes."
Conway's goal came off a flurry in the goal box, redirecting a shot from the left wing by Suad Suljic just in front of a backline defender at the 3:33 mark.
Josh Kaye nearly doubled the lead in the eighth minute, cracking a left-footed volley that was stopped nicely at the left post.
MKE kept up the pressure but was unable to generate many shot attempts. The squad was rewarded in the 21st minute, with Suljic heading in a beautiful 35-yard free kick from the foot of Vuk Latinovich to make it 2-0.
Milwaukee had just three shot attempts on the scoresheet at intermission, but made the most of its chances by putting two into the back of the net.
"Good sequences; the guys were hungry," Kelderman said. "We talked about missing a good number of opportunities in our last game. The guys were disappointed about that and said 'let's try and be better in the box' and tonight we were."
That was eventually how it ended, as the Panther defense absorbed a Penn attack that stepped it up in the second half, accounting for eight of the 13 shots after intermission to earn an 11-to-8 edge in the contest. However, just one was on frame for the Quakers in the match, compared to four for MKE.
Goalkeeper Freddy Lorenzen recorded his league-leading third shutout of the season. He was credited for just one save officially, but secured numerous crosses and thwarted Penn chances coming off his line.
"Freddy has been very good for us this season and is off to a great start," Kelderman said. "Nothing makes you feel more confident than when you have a goalkeeper who is playing very well behind you."
The save he did make was a thing of beauty, springing off his line to punch away a 20-yard free kick in the 55th minute that looked destined to find the back of the net.
Latinovich and Kaye paced the Panthers with two shots each. Suljic finished with the goal and an assist.
Up next, the Panthers remain at home to open Horizon League play, welcoming Cleveland State to Engelmann Field Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.