Shorthanded Panthers Strike Late In Opener
MILWAUKEE - Henrik Fennefoss headed in the game-winning goal in the 84th minute to send the Milwaukee men's soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 victory over Western Illinois in the season opener Friday night at Engelmann Stadium.
The Panthers (1-0) carried the offense most of the night against the Leathernecks (0-1) but could not find a goal until late. The score actually came with Milwaukee down to 10 men on the field following a red card.
"First game of the season and we dealt with some adversity," UWM head coach Kris Kelderman said. "The guys organized themselves very quickly and capitalized with a really nice goal towards the end. The guys are fighters; they are warriors … they fought to the end. We came together – I am really proud of the group the last five minutes. After we scored, after dealing with the red card – first game of the season, you don't have a lot of time to work with those scenarios and the guys handled it well."
Milwaukee looked to have a goal in it the entire night, but seven saves from WIU's Tim Hansen made it interesting. Nick Moon fired just left in the 10th minute and Sean Holmes nearly buried a ball that came back to him after a corner kick in the 15th to mark some early UWM chances.
Reid Stevenson's header just missed the right post in the 36th and Francesco Saporito's attempt just before intermission was saved nicely to keep it scoreless at the half.
"I thought we had the better of the match, no disrespect to Western Illinois," Kelderman said. "They came out, they fought hard. We got a good number of shots in the first half, but we just had to be a little sharper in the attacking half. We were fighting for that first goal. If we could have gotten it earlier, it would have forced them to come out a little bit and open the game, which would have played to our strengths."
Things stayed that way with UWM holding nearly all of the dangerous chances. Jaime Colin gave it a go from distance in the 49th and Hansen was there again with a nice stop on Vuk Latinovich's header in the 67th.
The winning goal came a few minutes after UWM was down to 10 men. A foul set up a free kick from the right wing. Latinovich sent it to the far post, where Nick Anguil-Andriacchi headed it back to the near post. Fennefoss was waiting there, netting his first collegiate goal at the 83:50 mark.
The defense made it stand up, not allowing WIU to record a shot of any kind until the 30th minute of the night while only allowing six total in the contest.
For the game, Milwaukee held advantages of 18-to-6 in shots (8-2 shots on target) and recorded all eight of the corner kicks on the evening. Fouls were 11-10 WIU.
Goalkeeper Freddy Lorenzen earned the victory in his first collegiate start, recording a pair of saves. Moon paced the offense with four shots, Stevenson and Evan Conway each had three.
Up next, the Panthers close out the weekend at Engelmann Stadium Sunday, welcoming Eastern Illinois for a 3 p.m. start.
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