The 3rd Man In

Panthers are headed to Madison

fter being out of the NCAA Tournament for seven straight years, the Milwaukee Panthers are headed back to the dance. Today the Panthers (15-2-2) found out their next challenge, and they will be headed to Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers (13-4-2) on Thursday at seven o’clock.

“It’s a great feeling. It was quit a crazy weekend,” said head coach Kris Kelderman. “We had to play a lot of soccer in a short amount of time, two games in a 24-hour period, and under some intense situations based on the pressure of the games. The guys stepped up and did considerably well under the certain circumstances.

“That is a really good sign for our group, especially going into the national tournament. We’re ecstatic about the conference tournament championship and getting a bid for the national tournament. We’re going to give it everything we have to see how far we can go with this thing.”

The Panthers earned the automatic bid into the tournament after winning the Horizon League Tournament Championship yesterday, 2-0, over UIC. It was a well-deserved victory with the way Milwaukee has played all season, and the amount of adversity they had to deal with this weekend.

This game will be a rematch of the late October meeting that was held in Milwaukee between these in-state rivals. It was a hard fought game on both sides, but it ended in a 1-1 tie. Now that both teams know a little bit about their opponent, it will be a great opportunity to pickup a victory over their in-state rival, while moving on in the tournament.

“It’s an exciting opportunity. Obviously we are a little familiar with each other due to the match that we played this year,” said Kelderman. “The environment will be outstanding just because it’s in the home state. They are a very good team. They are a team that we respect. We obviously know that we need to be prepared, and be playing our best soccer in order to get our result against them.”

The winner will advance in the bracket and will face Notre Dame (12-1-6) on November 24th. Notre Dame was awarded the third seed and a first round bye in the tournament.

Both schools have shown that they are an outstanding and competitive team. While Milwaukee maybe looked at as Wisconsin’s little brother, they already have shown they can play up to the same level as them. The Panthers have had an amazing season so far, and one thing is for sure they do not want it to be over.

“We know we can play with these guys. I can’t guarantee a result but what I can guarantee is that we are going to show up, give everything we got, and in a state were everybody that is a Panther fan can be proud of,” said Kelderman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *