#16 Panthers Fall In NCAA First Round To Michigan State, 2-1

Milwaukee can't overcome 2-0 loss in third NCAA Tournament in four seasons


Seniors Sarah Teegarden (left) and Erin Kane played their final collegiate games

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Nov. 14, 2008) - Laura Heyboer scored two goals to lead Michigan State past the No. 16 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team, 2-1, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament Friday evening at Notre Dame.

The Panthers' season ends at 18-3-2, while Michigan State (14-6-3) moves on to play the winner of No. 1 Notre Dame and Toledo Sunday at noon central time.

Despite consistent and extended attacks by Milwaukee in the first half, the team went into the half trailing 1-0. Heyboer got the Spartans on the board in the 10th off a long pass from Lauren Sinacola. Heyboer received the ball, dribbled into the box and blasted a shot far post for the score.

"We knew it would be tough," UWM head coach Michael Moynihan said. "The bracketing got a lot of attention., but we knew Michigan State... their leading scorer (Heyboer) led the Big Ten, was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the conference. Lauren Hill was the second-leading scorer was second in the Big Ten in scoring. It's a dynamic duo. It was far and away, the best attacking tandem that we faced all year. We knew that would be tough to shut them down."

UWM had the first scoring chance in the sixth minute when freshman Sarah Hagen had her shot deflected by a defender off the post. On the ensuing corner kick, sophomore Sarah Talbert had a header go just wide.

With 11 minutes remaining before halftime, sophomore Nicole Sperl sent a corner kick to Hagen, who sent a shot at the far post that was cleared off the line.

The game was anticipated to be a fat back-and-forth affair with two of the nation's leading scorers in Hagen and Heyboer. The Panthers outplayed the Spartans in the first half, despite the score, and held a 12-8 shot advantage. Milwaukee was also ahead in corner kicks, 5-1.

 

 

For the game, UWM had the 19-15 shot edge and 8-2 advantage in corner kicks. Senior Erin Kane made seven saves in her final collegiate match. Her counterpart, Jill Fliestra made six stops, while her back line was credited with one team save.

"We just didn't finish our chances. I thought it might be a shootout, given what we knew about them offensively," Moynihan said. "We created good chances and just couldn't convert, which is unusual for us. Throughout most of the season we had been finishing most of those chances. You look at the scoreline, it was 2-1, it could have been 5-4, 5-5 easily."

In the second half, Milwaukee continued to push forward for the equalizer, but struggled finding the back of the net. The Panthers had a flurry in front of the goal 16 minutes into the second period when Hagen tracked down a cross through the box. She beat two defenders to the ball and dribbled back into the box. She then slotted a ball to junior Louise Vraney. Two defenders crashed down on her and her shot was stopped, preserving the 1-0 score.

"Coming in at halftime, 1-nil down, I still felt pretty good because we had created so many chances in the first half," Moynihan said. "We controlled a lot of the play. The second half, they really bogged down. They changed something in the midfield and that caused us some problems, although we still had some really good chances. We had some shots right at the keeper and had some of those flurries in front of the goal."

Heyboer struck again in the 74th minute on another long pass played into the box. She stopped the ball, spun and beat Kane to make it 2-0.

Milwaukee fought to get on the board late into regulation, but seemed to be losing momentum as the game progressed. The Panthers continued to dedicate numbers forward, but were not able to find the back off the net until the 87th minute with some help from the MSU defense. Junior Kate Megna sent a cross into the box that a defender attempted to clear. Instead, she deflected the ball just over Fliestra's head for an own goal.

Sparked by the goal, the Panthers fought for an equalizer, but could not get an opportunity.

In addition to Kane, seniors Sarah Teegarden, Beth Steuer and Andrea Wisniewski all played their final college matches. Teegarden made her school-record 86th-career start and broke another school record by playing in her 86th career game.

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