Today is his fourth entry of the campaign as he chronicles the adventures of the team during his senior season.
The nights are starting to get a bit colder and fall has officially begun. Where is the time going? These last few weeks have been incredibly busy, as a team and on a personal level. It has set me back a bit on my blogging; so let me catch you up on what’s happening in the life of Milwaukee Panther Soccer.
Two weekends ago, we were on the road heading to Michigan to take on last year's Horizon League Champions, Oakland. We got down there early evening on Friday and grabbed some quick sandwiches and were able to go watch our lady panthers play Oakland as well. It was a buggy night, with a dewy pitch, but that didn’t stop Panther Maria Stephans from taking over the game and scoring two goals to lead the team to a win after scoring a late penalty kick goal, and then a banger in overtime.
But we were on a business trip to take care of our own matters with what we knew was to be a tough contest for us to open Horizon League play. It was Oakland’s homecoming weekend and the game drew a good fan base. The game was a battle. Nick Moon hit a bouncing ball off the post that would have literally been a buzzer-beater goal. Regulation ended scoreless. In extra time, a ball came bouncing off the cross bar, and fell to Tinashe. This ball came to him at about six yards from goal, very very close to the goal if I must. He somehow found a way to kick the ball over the goal. He will never hear the end of that one. However, the night was captured by another freshman. Francesco, stood over the ball on a free kick with three minutes to play. He took his shot and put it in the back of the net, then took off running to celebrate with the crew. It was a massive win for us to get us back on track in terms of results and for our conference record.
When we got back home, it was a new feeling for us as we had a whole week until our next game. We have had midweek games and lots of traveling during the weeks prior so it was a nice feeling to be back home for a bit. It was a week filled of getting caught up with schoolwork, new haircuts, and lots of media coverage. Francesco was in front of the camera talking through his game-winning goal, and the freshman internationals put together a cool interview story with Fox 6. Felt as if these younger boys were pushing us elder players to the side. Last week also, every team was invited to attend a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Greenfield. It was a great event where we talked about some extremely powerful messages and brought this Panther Family together.
The week of training was very competitive and the work rate was up. We got after it quite a bit in preparation to host UIC at Engelmann Field. It felt as if we hadn’t played a home game in a very long time after being on the road so much. The game had two red cards handed out, one to each team, and ended in a 1-1 tie. A game we felt as if we could have picked up a win, as we expect to win every time we step on the field, but with the circumstances the game came to, getting a tie out of is was okay. It puts our squad still unbeaten at home on the year and unbeaten in conference. We will take the week to get back to work in preparation for Valparaiso next weekend for another home matchup. I have been notified that our very own Laurie Bell will be in attendance next Saturday for our game. Be sure to arrive early to get your autographs.