Women’s soccer falls against Milwaukee


Freshman defenseman Haley Hoppe dribbles past the Milwaukee defender Friday. The Huskies lost 2-0.

By Krystal Megan

Women’s soccer could not break through against the undefeated University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin Panthers Friday at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.

The Huskies (3-2-1, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) went scoreless and fell to the Panthers 2-0, a team who has not allowed a goal this season.

Though NIU held the Panthers to eight shots, Milwaukee was able to control the pace for most of the game.

Head Coach John Ross said he knew it was going to be a tough game because of Milwaukee’s defense and the success they have had so far this season with not allowing any goals.

“I knew we would have to do well in defending our [goal] box from services or long balls over the top,” Ross said. “That was the thing that we just needed to do a better job of, defending those [services and long balls]. We did most of the game, but then they got two opportunities, and if we give up those type of opportunities, it’s tough to win. [Milwaukee’s] going to score on those.”

Milwaukee scored their first goal about five minutes before the end of the first half. Senior midfielder Anna Smalley finished a cross in the box to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Smalley struck again in minute 66 to cement the Panthers lead.

It’s just the second time this season NIU has allowed more than one goal in a game, dating back to Aug. 27 where they allowed two goals to Wisconsin.

Ross said he thought the Huskies’ back line was organized, but the team needed to do a better job.

“Our midfield needed to be a little more organized [and] our forwards, and just as a team we needed to play better team defense,” Ross said. “That would’ve led to more opportunities for us; and then when we get the ball, we have to make sure we’re making the right decision with the ball. Too many times we turned it over and put them back in transition. When you keep doing that, you’re going to get stretched defensively.”

The Huskies were only able to produce three shots and one shot on goal for the game, compared to eight shots and three shots on goal from the Panthers.

Ross said the Panthers are compatible to the top teams in the MAC, and they set a good standard of play.

“This was one of the better teams we’ll play all year,” said Ross, according to NIU Media Services. “I’d compare them to a top-flight MAC team so that’s how we have to judge ourselves.”

The Huskies sent 18 different players on the field, including full, 90-minute games from senior goalkeeper Amy Annala and senior defenseman Natalia Pena.

The Huskies will look ahead to the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, who the team has not faced since Sept. 4, 2011, where the teams settled for a 1-1 draw.

The Huskies only have one game remaining in non-conference play before taking on the University of Akron Zips to begin MAC play Sept. 22.

The Huskies will look for their first home victory of the season 6 p.m. Friday when they battle the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.