The 3rd Man In

Freshmen lead Milwaukee to two wins

With 10 new freshmen this season, Milwaukee Panthers men’s head soccer coach Kris Kelderman knew that he needed these newcomers to step up and produce right away. And in the Panthers first game of the season against DePaul, the freshmen did just that.

Without senior All-American Laurie Bell (injury), senior captain Rich Johnson (injury) and junior Declan Rodriguez (yellow-card accumulation), the odds were stacked against the Panthers as they stepped on Laura Moynihan Field to face the Blue Demons Friday evening.

However, freshmen Petter Ingebrigtsen and Nick Moon stepped up and filled the void left offensively, each scoring a goal in their debut to lead Milwaukee (1-0) to a 2-1 victory over DePaul with 2,167 roaring Panther fans in attendance.

Ingebrigtsen netted his first collegiate goal in the 18th minute to help the Panthers jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Ingebrigtsen’s goal came off of a short pass by fellow freshman Magnus Flaatedal.

DePaul responded quickly, scoring less than two minutes later on a header off of a 30-yeard free kick, taking advantage of Milwaukee’s inexperienced defense as they left a man wide open in the box.

The match remained tied at 1-1 well into the second half until Moon scored the game winner for the Panthers in the 65th minutes. Ingebrigtsen had the ball and served it into the box, where junior Patrick Ruhland was waiting for it and headed it to the far post. Moon then one-timed his kick and flicked it over DePaul’s charging goalie, giving Milwaukee a 2-1 advantage.

DePaul continued to fight, but they where unable to get the ball past talented sophomore goalkeeper Liam Anderson. In the match, Anderson made an impressive seven saves.

Milwaukee held the 12-to-11-advantage in shots, but DePaul was able to record eights shots on goal compared to the Panthers four. The Panthers were also called for 17 of the 31 fouls, in a match that saw seven yellow cards.

This was an excellent opening game of the season for the Panthers, as the freshmen carried Milwaukee to victory without their top offensive player in Bell, in front of the fifth largest crowd in program history at Engelmann Stadium.

The freshmen continued to carry the momentum into the Panthers second game of the weekend, as they hit the road to face Drake on Sunday evening.

Freshman Reid Stevenson and Ingebrigtsen both scored as they lead the Panthers (2-0) past the Bulldogs for a 2-0 win. Anderson also recorded his first shutout of the season; recording three saves on the night.

Both teams went back-and-forth in the first half, but were unable to find the back of the next, as the score remained 0-0 entering halftime.

It was not until the 47th minute when Stevenson headed in a corner kick from Flaatedal for his first collegiate goal, putting the Panthers ahead of the Bulldogs, 1-0.

Ingebrigtsen then came back 15 minutes later to score his second goal of the season. He finished off a service from the sideline by Stevenson in the box.

This goal made Ingebrigtsen only the third freshman in program history to score a goal in each of the first two games of the season.

Bell also made his season debut after sitting out the first game of the season due to injury. Although he wasn’t able to find the back of the net, he recorded a team-high four shots – three of them being on goal.

The Panthers finished with the slight edge in shots (11-10) and shots on goal (6-3), while being called for 11 of the 19 fouls.

In the first two games of the season for the Panthers, the freshmen have created quite a buzz. With Bell missing the first game of the year, and the losses on the offensive attack from a year ago, Milwaukee needed the freshmen to contribute immediately. Through the first two games, the group of Ingebrigtsen, Stevenson and Moon have accounted for all four goals. If this can continue, along with the contributions from veterans Bell and Rodriguez, Milwaukee’s offense could be dangerous.

It will be interesting to see if the freshmen can continue their high level of play, while the Panthers look to continue their winning ways this coming weekend, as they host the 40th Panther Invitational. Milwaukee will welcome two west coast teams, Oregon State and Gonzaga, to Engelmann Stadium, with the Panthers opening play against the Beavers Friday evening.

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