The Panthers could not get any offense going in their road test against sixth-ranked Creighton, dropping their first game of the young season, 4-0. After a relatively competitive and defensive first half, the Bluejays opened up the game with two second-half goals in a four-minute span. Head coach Kris Kelderman spoke optimistically following the defeat, but he was not too fond of the defensive effort late.
“We played against a very good team, arguably one of the best teams in the country and we knew going in that we had our hands full,” he said. “I don’t hesitate to say that we got beat by a better team today. No matter what, we can chalk it up as a great experience for our guys. It shows that we have to improve in various areas and we know that we will.”
“I’m not discouraged about the result, considering we are such a young and inexperienced team still trying to find our way,” he continued. “The only thing I am a little discouraged about is that I didn’t like the way we gave up the goals that we did.”
The main reason why Milwaukee struggled so much offensively was Creighton master goalie Connor Sparrow, who is coming off a 2014 season in which he sported a 0.49 goals-against-average. Sunday afternoon was his 16th career shutout.
The Panthers had a golden opportunity go for naught early in the second half. Freshman Francesco Saporito sent a free kick over the right side of the goal that beat Sparrow, but it hit the crossbar to preserve the two-goal Bluejay lead.
From there, the home squad cruised. Between the 64th and 68th minutes, Creighton put the dagger goals in. It finished the game with a 25-4 shot advantage, including a 6-0 corner kick gap.
Milwaukee better rebound quickly, as one of the most significant games of 2015 is on tap. The “Milwaukee Cup” tilt vs. Marquette is Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Englemann Stadium.