Women’s soccer stuns Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The Marquette women’s soccer team improved its record to 3-1 after stunning the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers 2-0 Thursday night.

It had been three years since the Golden Eagles had won the in-state matchup and this time they did it on UW-Milwaukee’s home turf – snapping the Panthers’ 24-game home win streak.

“We beat a good team tonight,” coach Markus Roeders said. “Give our team a lot of credit for how we battled and how we worked.”

Just 12 minutes into the contest, senior Michelle Compty put the Golden Eagles ahead for good.

Marquette senior midfielder Brittany Bares dribbled by a UW-Milwaukee defender along the left wing and sent the ball to the back post where Compty ran on and blasted it into the back of the net.

“I didn’t score at all last year so I was just so hungry for this one,” Compty said. “It just felt great.”

Impressive once again for Marquette was sophomore forward Rachel Sloan. With a combination of speed and skillful touch, Sloan frustrated the Panther defense on a number of occasions.

After failing to capitalize on a breakaway with UW-Milwaukee’s goalkeeper in the 30th minute, she rebounded with a hustle play that led to Marquette’s second goal.

“Sloan was threatening all night long,” Roeders said. “She’s been one of our top players all year.”

Sloan sprinted past the Panther’s left side defender and found senior Becky Ryan at the top of the box, who skillfully placed a shot into the lower right side of the goal.

The first half ended with the Golden Eagles up 2-0, which was surprising for a few reasons.

Coming in to tonight’s game, UWM had totaled seven goals and given up zero in four games.

Where was that Panther team? Would they show up for the second half? Absolutely.

As Marquette expected, UW-Milwaukee came out firing after the break, looking to sneak back into the match.

“At halftime we knew 2-0 was a dangerous lead, but we just had to think about playing defense and making stops,” Marquette goalkeeper Natalie Kulla said.

Marquette had a chance to all but seal the victory when sophomore forward Danielle Martens was taken down in the box early in the half and was awarded a penalty kick. Martens sent the kick to the lower left corner of the goal, but Panthers goalkeeper Jamie Forbes guessed correctly and knocked the shot away from goal.

Following the blown opportunity, Marquette was pushed back on its heels the remainder of the game. After recording just four shots in the first half, UW-Milwaukee ripped 15 shots in the second, two of them clanging off the post and many others flying left and right of Kulla.

The Panthers were awarded seven corner kicks to go along with several dangerous set pieces. Kulla, along with the over-protective defensive line in front of her, was able to dodge every bullet the Panthers fired.

“When your defenders do the work, it makes it easy for you to look good,” Kulla said. “I think they did a hell of a job.”

Marquette held on for dear life and made all the necessary stops to secure an improbable victory. It was indeed a special win for Roeders and his team tonight and something they will take note of as they progress this season.

“We’re happy campers tonight because we get to walk away with the win,” Roeders said.