MILWAUKEE – The Panthers had a problem all too familiar against Wright State on Saturday evening, as Milwaukee dropped a 1-0 affair to the Raiders at Englemann Stadium.
Like the Chancellor’s Cup game vs. Green Bay, the home squad created plenty of scoring opportunities, but none of them bore any fruit. The Panthers outshot Wright State, 16-9. Coach Kris Kelderman commented on his team’s scrappy play and remained optimistic about his offense.
“Wright State is a very good team,” he said. “They are a very dangerous team offensively and we limited their attack compared to their recent games. I feel bad for the guys. We keep plugging away and at some point it’s going to turn.”
The Raiders, one of the league’s top teams, got tremendous defensive play and four saves from goalkeeper Tyler Blackmer, and a goal in the 37th minute by midfielder Jackson Dietrich was the only offense needed. Blackmer now leads the Horizon League with six shutouts.
Milwaukee had a chance to take an early lead. Forward Tinashe Marowa had a shot blocked in the 24th minute that ricocheted to midfielder Magnus Flaatedal, who tried to knock it in off the bounce. However, Blackmer denied the opportunity.
Three more golden opportunities to tie went for naught. First, midfielder Matthias Binder tried to sneak in a loose ball with Blackmer out of position, but a Raiders’ defender got in the way just in time in the 51st minute. On the next possession, midfielder Francesco Saporito saw an angle shot saved right at the post. Finally, forward Nick Moon got past a defender and rocketed a shot that got past Blackmer but hit the cross bar. The Panthers were once again the aggressors in the second half, out-shooting Wright State, 11-4. Kelderman continued on the resiliency of the team.
“That is one thing we can be proud of … we keep plugging away,” he said. “It’s easy for a young group – seven freshmen that are out on the field – and when we are having trouble scoring a goal and we get scored on, it’s easy for the heads to go down. And tonight, the heads didn’t go down. I think the chins got higher and I am very proud as far as the response of the team and their efforts.”
UWM had a late opportunity that went wide, allowing the Raiders to escape with the one-goal win.
Up next, the Panthers take on in-state rival Wisconsin at Englemann Field on Wednesday night. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will broadcast the game.