Women’s soccer allows six goals in opener against Milwaukee


Courtesy of UW-Milwaukee Athletics

Junior forward Julia Neary chases down a ball on Aug. 19 against Milwaukee.

By James Krause

DeKALB — The women’s soccer team was trounced by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers 6-0 in their season opener in Milwaukee Thursday night, the Huskies’ largest margin of defeat since October 2019.

Head coach Julie Colhoff said the Huskies didn’t hit the marks they needed to hit in order to compete with the Panthers, the three-time defending champions of the Horizon League.

“Milwaukee is a very good team that capitalizes on their opportunities,” Colhoff said. “When you play that caliber of a team you have to be able to control what you can control. Unfortunately, there were a lot of things we could control that we didn’t focus on and let slide.”

NIU was out shot by Milwaukee 26-7, with the Huskies struggling to find lengthy possessions. Colhoff said the loss taught her team the importance of assertive defense moving forward.

“No matter what position you play, when it comes to that one-on-one moment of imposing your will on somebody,” Colhoff said. “Obviously that’s something we’ll continue to train. At the end of the day, I have every bit of confidence that they will step up in that way.

The Panthers star player of the match was junior forward Natalie Auble. Auble scored two goals and was a late wide-shot away from a hat trick. In total, five different Panthers players scored, a variety of attackers that created problems for Colhoff and the Huskies.

“(Milwaukee) has a number of threats who are clinical with their finishes,” Colhoff said. “When they had an opportunity, they took them, placed them well and followed them up.”

NIU sophomore forward Kierah Meier led the Huskies in shots with three over 79 minutes of play.

Milwaukee’s aggression paid off early with a goal in the 11th minute. After one shot went off the crossbar, Panthers junior midfielder Jelena Sever collected the rebound and scored to make it 1-0. 

The Panthers scored again in the 21st minute off a shot by Auble. Fellow junior forward Rafferty Kruger was credited with the assist.

The same Kruger-to-Auble connection gave Milwaukee their third goal of the half in the 29th minute, this time with Auble scoring from a distance. The Panthers took a 3-0 advantage to the break, outshooting NIU 15-3 in the first half.

NIU picked up their attack slightly in the second half, getting three shots on goal in the first 15 minutes of the period. However, none found the net and Milwaukee extended their lead in the 65th minute off a goal by senior forward Mackinzie Schill. 

Freshman forward Kat Van Booven scored in the 78th minute and sophomore forward Brooke Parnello scored in the 84th minute to make the final score 6-0 Panthers.

The Huskies return to DeKalb for their home opener at 5 p.m. on Sunday against the Indiana State University Sycamores.