The 3rd Man In

Panthers get ready for conference tournament

Horizon League Tournament soccer is back, and this season Milwaukee Panther fans should be excited as the Panthers (13-2-2, 5-2) have a legitimate chance of winning it all. After securing a first round bye, the Panthers will play their first game in the tournament Friday night against the third seeded, Oakland University Golden Grizzles (7-6-5, 4-2-1).

This game and the rest of the tournament will be held at the University of Illinois Chicago as they won the Horizon League regular season title to secure the right to host the tournament.

Only a few weeks ago the Panthers were able to defeat the Golden Grizzlies at home by a score of 2-1. This was a big game for the Panthers as they were able to hand Oakland their first conference loss, which allowed them to move up to second place in the conference standings.

The Golden Grizzlies won their first tournament game earlier this week against Valparaiso University, 2-1, to move onto this game against the Panthers.

Scoring two goals is something the Golden Grizzlies are not use to doing a whole lot, as they average only a little more than a goal a game.

Oakland has struggled this season finding the back of the net as they rank 6th in conference with 21 goals. This will also be a problem for them because the Panthers defense led by goalie Liam Anderson has been the best in the league with a 0.68 goals against average.

Leading their offense is junior forward, Joey Tinnion who has seven goals and four assists for 18 points this season. Besides Tinnion, Oakland does not have any other player with more than nine points.

In goal for the Golden Grizzlies will be senior Sean Lewis. He has started 16 games for Oakland while owning a 1.04 goals against average and a .763 save percentage.

The Milwaukee Panthers have the best offense and defense in the Horizon League, and they will be a tough team for anyone to knock off. This will be an exciting game with the opportunity to advance to the conference championship on the line. Both teams have had a great season so far, but expect Oakland to struggle stopping Milwaukee’s explosive offense.

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