There was so much agony in watching Brady Wahl yank down a Panthers attacker inside the box with less than ten minutes left on the clock of the annual Milwaukee Cup match between Marquette and UW-Milwaukee. The Panthers had been knocking on the door and instead of making them kick it in, the Golden Eagles had seemingly opened the door late for Milwaukee.
It was a beautiful night for soccer on Wednesday night at Valley Fields for the 42nd edition of the crosstown rivalry and Everything seemed to be coming up Marquette from the outset. It was Jack Alberts, scoring his first collegiate goal, that broke through in the 15th minute heading in a long pass off a free kick by Louis Bennett II for the win.
The insurance goal came in the 28th: David Selvaggi tapped the ball to Adam Hermson whose sent a long cross to C Nortey. The striker's back flick, beautiful and deceptively easy looking, sent the ball past an unprepared Agustin Rey. The Marquette offense kept peppering Rey and the Panthers goalkeeper got assists from the post and crossbar to deny Selvaggi early in the second half.
The match had started to get chippy during the end of the first half as the Panthers battled to stay in the game. Nick Moon earned a yellow while Wahl got a stern talking to from the ref in the closing minutes. Play was physical by both teams, but having a 2-0 lead apparently gets you less leeway: Luis Trude was issued a card early in the second half while Selvaggi, John Pothast, and Coco Navarro were booked within five minutes of each other with less than 15 left in the match.
So when Wahl took down the attacker in the midst of cards being issued left and right (well, only right since Milwaukee inexplicably did not earn any warnings for their play), there was a heart stopping moment when it seemed another card of a different color might be on deck. The penalty kick was a given, but no card ever came for Wahl.
And then there was the ecstasy of Charlie Lyon punching the ball away to deny Laurie Bell on the penalty kick. The woodwork turned away one last shot by UWM a few minutes later and the door was effectively closed on the Panthers. It took a little work, but the shutout is the fourth (in a row) for Lyon this season who is fast closing in on the career Marquette record.
The Golden Eagles are still perfect at home after dropping their first two matches on the road to ranked opponents. Tactical highlights are on Facebook and scoring highlights on MUTube (I prefer the latter as it includes audio).
Up next: At Northern Illinois at 7 pm. Can I hit the publish button before kick off?