The 3rd Man In

Milwaukee retains LeWang Trophy

After being away from classic Engelmann Stadium for over two weeks, the Milwaukee Panthers returned to their home pitch, to square off against Northern Illinois for the LeWang Trophy. It was a thrilling game that saw many ups and downs for both teams, eventually ending in a 2-2 tie, with the Panthers retaining the trophy.

“It’s disappointing and actually feels like a loss, unfortunately,” Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman said. “The same mistakes are hurting us, game-in and game-out now and it’s getting old.

“But we have to keep plugging away. I feel bad for the guys. They put in a real good effort. We had our chances as the game went on. But it just didn’t happen tonight.”

After a scoreless first half that saw only a few scoring opportunities for both teams, the second half was filled with excitement and energy. About nine minutes into the final 45 minutes of play, the Panthers were able to jump out to a 1-0 advantage.

Luke Goodnetter sent a corner kick into the box, where Richard Johnson was waiting for it. Johnson headed it, but it hit the crossbar, bouncing to Petter Ingebrigtsen, who was able to finish for his third goal of the season.

Only seven minutes later, Andy Chmielewski was able to beat a NIU defender on a through ball in the box, sending the ball back to the far post, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the 61st minute.

Then in the 67th minute Laurie Bell beat a defender, and sent the ball towards the goal. It appeared that this was going to be his first goal of the season, but it was just a bit wide to the left, hitting the goal post.

This seemed to switch all the momentum into the Huskies favor. Instead of it being 3-0 Panthers, the Huskies hustled down the field, finding the back of the net, to jump onto the scoreboard, trailing only 2-1 in the 70th minute.

Only four minutes later, the Huskies were able to tie the game up at two apiece after they were able to chip it over Liam Anderson, who was charging towards the ball.

Milwaukee had some excellent chances in the final minutes of regulation and in the two overtime periods, but they were unable to finish.

Northern Illinois held the slight advantage in shots, 21-19, and corner kicks, 4-3. Both teams were whistled for a combined 42 fouls.

Despite allowing two goals, Anderson played well in goal for the Panthers, recording six saves.

This was a tough game for the Panthers, as they attempted to end their three-game losing streak. While a tie is better than a loss, it is tough to get excited about tying NIU when the Panthers should have won. Right now the Panthers are struggling on both sides of the ball, and with conference play starting, they will need to figure it out soon if they want to be hoisting the regular season title at the end of the season.

“I think we had plenty of chances, more quality chances than they did,” said Kelderman. “I’m proud of the guys as far as that goes. It’s just a couple of breakdowns, and capitalizing on some opportunities we had later in the game. We just got to get better in front of each of the two goals, offensively and defensively.”

Up next, the Panthers will begin Horizon League play on Saturday evening at Engelmann Stadium, facing Cleveland State.

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