DeKALB — Three goals in the first half by University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee were enough to drown out the women’s soccer team in a 1-3 season opening loss.
The loss marks back-to-back season opening defeats, each coming against the Milwaukee Panthers. Milwaukee shutout the Huskies 0-3 last year at Engelmann Stadium.
Sophomore forward Trudy Quidzinski scored the lone goal for the Huskies. Quidzinski had four total shot with two on frame. NIU posted six total shots while the Panthers put up 20.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a header from sophomore forward Haley Johnson off an assist from sophomore forward Rafferty Kugler.
Milwaukee followed their first header with a second in the 19th minute. The goal came from junior forward Mackenzie Schill off an assist from Johnson putting them up 2-0 over the Huskies.
In the 39th minute, NIU’s sophomore goalkeeper Julia Lentz denied Milwaukee’s sophomore midfielder Taylor Hattori with a save, allowing for the Huskie defenders to clear the ball. Lentz would have three saves in the game.
The Panthers were able to get a third goal before the half when Kugler sent the ball to the back of the net off a volley. Junior defender Morgan Koerber assisted on the play.
NIU Head Coach Julie Colhoff looks to improve the team’s situational defense where UW-Milwaukee scored most of their goals.
“We have to find our marks in transition, specifically in the box for 50-50 shots,” Colhoff said.
NIU showed some promise with a pair of shots on goal within the first seven minutes of the second half, including a shot from first-year defender Emma Cramblett that forced a save by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Allie Strottman. However, NIU would go scoreless until the 79th minute.
In the 79th minute, NIU earned a penalty kick after Milwaukee committed a foul from a set piece. Quidzinski scored from the penalty spot, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 3-1. It was the third career goal for Quidzinski.
NIU will return to the field to face the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at home. The only matchup between the teams came in 2015 when Lafayette defeated NIU 0-1 during the Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas.
Kick off is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the NIU Soccer Complex.