The 3rd Man In

Milwaukee Panthers Women’s Sports Roundup

With the fall athletic season in full swing, the Milwaukee Panthers women’s soccer and volleyball teams returned to action facing some challenging competition this past week.

On a frigid, late summer Thursday evening the women’s soccer squad traveled crosstown to face their city rival, Marquette Golden Eagles. With nearly 800 hundred energized soccer fans in attendance, this game possessed numerous ups and downs for both teams. It was an extremely thrilling game that saw the Panthers beat the Golden Eagles, 5-4, after Sydney Senn scored the game-winning goal with only 1:32 left on the clock.

The Panthers pounced out of the gate scoring the first four goals of the game. The first goal for Milwaukee came in the 11th minute when Kelly Lewers sent the ball to Morgan LaPlant. LaPlant took two touches to get inside the box and past the Marquette defense, scoring her third goal in the last two games.

Then only two and half minutes later, Krissy Dorre was able to find the back of the net to extend the Panthers’ lead to two. Rachael Van Keulen sent the ball from midfield into the box where Vienna Behnke was waiting for it. She headed it to the center of the box to Dorre, who put it in for the goal.

After recording an assist on the first Panther goal, Lewers came back to record a goal of her own in the 31st minute. Amy Kauffung took the corner kick, sending it into the box, where Maria Stephans deflected the ball of her head. It landed right in front of Lewers, who was able to finish for the score.

The score remained 3-0 in favor of Milwaukee until the 63rd minute, when Behnke recorded her first goal on the young season, off of a pass from LaPlant.

With a four-goal lead, many Panther fans were excited, as they thought Milwaukee had the game won, despite 27 minutes remaining on the clock.

While many thought the four-goal deficit would be too steep to overcome, the Golden Eagles showed that they still had fight in them. Marquette stormed back tying up the contest at 4-4, beginning with a penalty kick in the 69th minute. They then recorded three more goals over the next 17 minutes, with the final goal coming with only four minutes left.

With the game tied at four apiece, and time running down in regulation, the battle was on. With less than two minutes left, this game appeared to be going into overtime, until Senn was able to score from close range on a great pass from Behnke, to give the Panthers the 5-4 lead and victory.

This was an exhilarating win for the women’s soccer team over their crosstown rival. But the celebration did not last long, as they had to prepare to travel to Auburn, Ala. to face the #18 Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

The match was a tenacious grind, and the Panthers couldn’t carry their offensive momentum over to this game, falling 2-0.

Milwaukee dominated the first half outshooting the Tigers 6-1, with both teams going into halftime scoreless.

This was a robust performance for the Panthers who had to deal with a lot of adversity. After playing on Thursday evening they had to travel down to the warm south on Saturday for a challenging matchup against one of the superior teams in the country.

Despite going 1-1, this was a successful week for the Panthers with a great win against their rival, and an excellent showing against a nationally ranked team. The Panthers will return to action this week against former Horizon League foe Loyola, Thursday evening on the road.

For a third straight weekend, the volleyball team took part in a tournament, this time in Minneapolis, Minn. for the Minnesota Diet Coke Classic.

It was a demanding weekend for the Panthers, playing three talented squads – Iowa State, #19 Minnesota and Tulsa.

The Panthers began their trifecta on Friday evening coming up just short against ISU, losing three sets to none (25-20, 25-21, 25-22). Hannah Blanchard led Milwaukee with 13 kills, while Kayla Price had 28 assists and Myanna Ruiz had 16 digs.

Milwaukee displayed crisp, enthusiastic play, and was in all three sets, but their offensive struggles ended up hurting them.

Following a tough defeat, the Panthers returned to the court Saturday morning to take on the host, #19 Minnesota. The Panthers leaped out to a 1-0 lead, but the Golden Gophers took control of the match, avoiding the upset, winning 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 25-18, 25-23).

Once again it was a competitive and spirited match for Milwaukee, as they held a lead in each set. There were a total of 15 lead changes and 39 ties in the four matches.

Julie Kolinske recorded 21 kills, while Ruiz had 19 digs, with Taylor Golabowski right behind her with 17 digs in the match.

In the final match of the Diet Coke Classic, Milwaukee squared off against Tulsa on Saturday night. Once again it was a hard fought contest, with each set being close. Unfortunately, 23 errors by the Panthers held them back, as Tulsa walked away winning three sets to one (25-21, 25-20, 25-23).

Blanchard recorded 13 kills, while Price continued her excellent play, finishing the match with an impressive 31 assists. Price’s performance during the tournament earned her a spot on the all-tournament squad.

While the Panthers don’t have any wins to show for their performance, this was a solid weekend. They played hard, and despite some mistakes remained in all three contests until the end.

They will return to action next weekend when they participate in the MSU Spartan Invitational, going up against Western Kentucky, LIU Brooklyn and Michigan State, beginning Friday morning.

The women’s soccer and volleyball teams both had a solid week of play. Although the result wasn’t always in the Panthers’ favor, they played extremely well, while continuing to show improvements. With the conference season only another week away, it is hard not to get excited about the potential of both of these teams.

Stay tuned next week for the fourth edition of the Milwaukee Panthers Women’s Sports Roundup to be up to date on everything happening with these two successful programs.

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