The 3rd Man In

Milwaukee falls to Oakland, UIC up next

It was a must win game for the Milwaukee Panthers men’s soccer team as they welcomed the first place Oakland Golden Grizzlies to classic Engelmann Stadium Wednesday evening.

The Panthers (4-8-2, 1-3-1) played hard, but the lack of execution cost them the victory, falling to the Golden Grizzlies 2-0.

In only the third minute of play, the Golden Grizzlies jumped out to a 1-0 lead, after Milwaukee’s defense failed to clear the ball. This put the Panthers in a tough position, forcing their offense to come from behind.

In the end, Milwaukee was unable to overcome the deficit, as Oakland’s goalkeeper Wes Mink recorded a clean sheet, making five saves on the night.

Once again the Panthers had their opportunities to score, holding a 15-11 advantage in shots, but the offense failed to execute.

This was a heart breaking loss, as the Panthers needed to pick up the victory with the Horizon League regular season starting to wind down. With the Panthers currently sitting on the outside of the conference tournament, they needed the win to move into sixth place in the standings.

Now they will have to try to complete a difficult task of going down Chicago, Ill. and beating the UIC Flames on their home field. Although the Flames have failed to live up to the high expectations set in the beginning of the season, this will not be an easy game for Milwaukee to win.

Currently sitting fourth in the conference standings, the Flames have only scored a little over one goal per game this season. Jorge Alvarez, who has tallied four goals on the year, leads the UIC Flames offensive attack, while four other teammates have at least one goal scored.

In goal for the Flames will be the talented Andrew Putna. Putna has picked up where he left off last season in his freshman campaign, posting four shutouts for an impressive 0.86 goals against average.

With very few conference games remaining in the regular season, the Panthers need to knock off the Flames and generate some momentum to hopefully make the Horizon League Tournament. It will not be easy, but if the Panthers can finally execute and record multiple goals, then they will have a solid chance of returning to campus with a win.

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