Panthers Top Marquette 2-1 in Milwaukee Cup
Sept. 9, 2011
MILWAUKEE - A pair of first-half goals was all the Milwaukee Panthers (3-1-0) needed to secure a 2-1 victory over Marquette University (1-3-0) and retain the Milwaukee Cup trophy Friday night in front of 1,743 fans at Engelmann Stadium.
Robert Refai (23') and Keegan Ziada (36') put the Panthers up 2-0 through the first 70 minutes of action before junior forward Andy Huftalin notched his second goal of the season.
Milwaukee tallied the go-ahead score when Alex Megna collided with MU midfielder C. Nortey on a 50/50 ball that deflected perfectly to Refai at the top of the box. Refai split two Golden Eagles' defenders off the ricochet and chipped the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
A quick break directed by Gerardo Saavedra and Nick Langford led to the Panthers' second goal of the evening as Langford found teammate Keegan Ziada on a through ball. With space, Ziada placed a low shot into the left corner of the goal, giving Milwaukee a 2-0 lead at the 35:50 mark.
Marquette nearly broke through in the 41st minute when left back Paul Dillon served a long left-footed cross to the back post, but Chris Madsen's header on the other end was deflected by the Panthers' goalkeeper and smothered.
Moments later, MU rattled off back-to-back shots but still to no avail. Nortey's strike was blocked by a Milwaukee defender at the top of the box and forward Adam Lysak's shot from 12 yards out skimmed wide left of the post.
Fresh back from injury, Calum Mallace -- who made his first start of the 2011 season Friday as did fellow senior defender Michael Alfano -- played the entire first half at center back. Mallace then moved to the midfield after halftime, immediately bringing a sense of urgency to the Golden Eagles' attack.
Mallace's first shot of the game came just two minutes into the second period and later he helped set up Marquette's lone goal off a free kick. From distance, Mallace connected with Nortey who crashed toward the net and sent a powerful header off the gloves of Milwaukee goalkeeper John Shakon. Huftalin was there for the rebound to make it 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining in regulation.
Both teams continued to play with great pace which stepped up a notch in the 86th minute of play when MU head coach Louis Bennett decided to play with two strikers up top.
Mallace took another free kick from 27 yards out that was saved by Shakon in the 88th minute, and Huftalin placed two more shots on frame in the closing seconds.
Friday marked the third straight shutout for Shakon, who made seven saves on the evening.
There were five yellow cards issued in the match.
Marquette will be in action next on Sunday, Sept. 11 for its 2011 home opener against Wright State. Kickoff is slated for 2:05 p.m. at Valley Fields.
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