Monday, September 17, 2012

LeWang Holders

Laurie Bell, a sophomore on the 2012 Milwaukee men's soccer team, will be blogging all season long on the UWM website. Today is his fifth entry of the year.

Note: The team is off this week, so look for the next blog in 2 weeks.


Our weekend spent participating in the Lakeside Classic tournament at Northwestern saw us produce two good performances in beating NIU and then unfortunately losing out to the hosts on Sunday.

Friday’s match up against our LeWang Trophy challengers proved to be our most complete performance of the season as we successfully defended the cup. Stu McBain scored his second goal in as many games - a good achievement for our freshman forward. His watching family seemed more than pleased with Stu and the team’s successes with Mrs. McBain in high spirits and a talkative mood as she congratulated all of us after the match.

Our second game of the weekend against nationally ranked Northwestern may have ended in defeat but we still left with pride in our performance and some healthy experience for our young team who matched, and even outplayed, the opposition for long periods of the game. Overall the weekend can be looked back upon with satisfaction.

Compared to some away day journeys the two trips to Chicago seemed relatively short but they still managed to provide some noteworthy moments. Everybody shares the same goals and everyone has a role to play. One player who proves this as much as anybody is Mark Heydt. Even if he doesn’t make the travel squad you better believe he is still going to represent us by wearing his Milwaukee soccer gear at all opportunities, proving he is as committed to the program as anybody. Either that or he wants to make certain that every girl on campus knows he plays the soccer team!

We now have a nine day gap between games which will be used to recover then prepare for a busy schedule in the build up to our first conference fixtures.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Travelling Tales

Laurie Bell, a sophomore on the 2012 Milwaukee men's soccer team, will be blogging all season long on the UWM website. Today is his fourth entry of the year.


Our first weekend on the road didn’t end with the result we were hoping for, making the many hours of travelling far less enjoyable and significantly slower than they can seem after an away day victory.

We set off travelling on Saturday, following an enjoyable evening spent by many team members at Pantherfest on Friday, the concert headlined by B.o.B and J Cole. The long journey took us to Xavier University where we suffered a 3-1 defeat. Stu McBain managed to score his first collegiate goal in an otherwise forgettable match.

I’d like to at least be able to say I went to the city of Cincinnati, Ohio this weekend. I think technically I did. But, in reality, we went to a very nice hotel somewhere in that region without ever seeing the city. It was a place that required a 30-minute round trip to the nearest gas station just to get snacks. No glimpse of a skyline, just the impressive buildings that made up the Xavier campus.

But one of the points the coaches have stressed this season is not to get too high after victories or too low after defeats. So with some pizza in our stomachs and Wedding Crashers on the team bus’s TV set, our spirits were somewhat lifted on the ride home. Entertainment for the trip also came in the form of some predictable Megna-Ashcroft disagreements – predominantly over internet usage this time around. But Alex’s Green Bay Packers stream taking up the necessary data for Jamie’s online football manager game was just a front. The two of them love any excuse to showcase their equally measured malicious and flirtatious arguments with one another.

Some gags were had at my expense too through the hacking of my twitter account. The phantom tweeter finally unveiled himself as my so-called comrade Zach Stevenson – hurtful yet humorous actions by him and the rest of the team that were involved in the betrayal. Apologies go out to anybody offended.

Our travelling antics will continue in the coming weeks as we are on the road for further upcoming fixtures. We will all be looking to keep up the on-coach banter but most importantly come home with a positive result next time around.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Engelmann Excitement

Laurie Bell, a sophomore on the 2012 Milwaukee men's soccer team, will be blogging all season long on the UWM website. Today is his third entry of the year.


Our team is quickly developing a reputation for producing excitement, going from being beaten at the buzzer last weekend to winning in the final second against IUPUI on Friday at Engelmann. A victory on Sunday made it three wins in three at our own venue and that strong home form has set us up well for our month on the road, beginning this coming weekend.

Friday’s last gasp winner was bundled home by our boy from Barcelona, Pol Narbona. If that pleased the spectators, they were even more entertained by his post-game interview. With a cheesy smile, in stuttered English and his charming hybrid accent, the lanky Spaniard just about managed to tell the world (or at least those checking our team’s website) that his “long legs” were the reason for his debut goal. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d recommend searching for the video online!

A big factor in both wins this weekend was the great turnout by the crowds who willed us to win throughout both games. Beating EIU on Sunday was especially sweet, as it was in front of great numbers of spectators who turned out on a day that had a carnival-type atmosphere with tailgating and rock climbing going on in the pitch-side parking lot. Some new chants and some Mikey Poll inspired cheering helped us through a tiring game and our victory ensured us as overall winners of the 38th Panther Invitational.

The wins were even sweeter for me personally, as the games fell either side of my birthday. To be honest, turning 20 and leaving my teenage years behind me had been something I was dreading. But two wins, two goals, some team-based fun and a lot of ice cream made it a weekend to remember. The earliest moments of my twenties were made even sweeter by being named in the team of the tournament too, alongside other goal scorers, Aaron Hoorvat and Jamie Bladen as well as James Ashcroft. Horvat’s day went from success to failure though, when he found out the toes of his favorite socks had been cut by an unknown locker room culprit.