The 3rd Man In

Milwaukee opens season at home against DePaul

College soccer is finally back. After two exhibition games that resulted in a tie for the Milwaukee Panthers, they will welcome the DePaul Blue Demons to classic Engelmann Stadium for the season opener.

In six previous matches between the Panthers and Blue Demons, Milwaukee is a perfect 6-0 and has outscored DePaul 30-4. Last season the Panthers traveled to Chicago, Illinois and knocked off the Blue Demons 2-1 in overtime on a corner kick.

Entering the season DePaul has been selected by the Big East coaches to finish in last place after posting a 5-11-2 record a year ago. However, the Blue Demons have another year of experience and they return four of their top six scorers including team leader Art Garza.

Garza is a senior forward who enjoyed a breakout year last season recording four goals and three assists for 11 points. While he is not on the same level as Panthers’ star Laurie Bell, he is an offensive player Milwaukee’s defense needs to keep their eyes on.

While Engelmann Stadium should be packed with roaring Black and Gold fans, this will not be an automatic win for the Panthers. The Panthers will have to work for this victory, as their defense will be put to test early.

With four new starters on defense it will be crucial that they get comfortable playing along side one another quickly, in order to keep DePaul’s scoring opportunities at a minimum. Sophomore goalie Liam Anderson will be a key player in this game for the Panthers.

With an entire new starting defense in front of him, he is going to have to make more plays than he did in most games last year, when he had a veteran defense that was comfortable playing together, and rarely let opposing offenses get the ball in the box.

There is a lot of hype surrounding the Panthers as they are coming off of a NCAA tournament appearance and have been selected to win the Horizon League this season. DePaul will be coming to Milwaukee to try and pick up an impressive win in the season opener, and as long as the Panthers’ defense can limit the scoring opportunities, the Panthers should have a good chance at starting the year 1-0.

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