Panthers Cruise To Sunday’s League Championship

Kelsey Holbert had an assist for UWM’s first goal and added the Panthers’ third in their 3-0 defeat of Detroit in a Horizon League semi-final match Nov. 8.

Krissy Dorre and Vienna Behnke both scored in the first half and Kelsey Holbert added an insurance goal midway through the second half as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women’s soccer team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 3-0 blanking of Detroit Friday in the second Horizon League Tournament semifinal match at Engelmann Stadium.

Milwaukee (9-8-1) now advances to Sunday’s league championship match against Oakland (11-8-1), after the Grizzlies knocked off Wright State in penalty kicks, 4-3. Detroit finishes the season at 11-8-1.

“It was a really clinical match by our team,” Milwaukee head coach Greg Henschel said. “I thought we were very good with our finishing tonight and it was good to see; we spent a lot of time on our finishing and I think that showed tonight.”

Milwaukee first got on the board in the 18th minute. Holbert ripped a shot inside the box that looked to have the keeper beaten, but the ball dinged off the crossbar. Dorre was right there for the rebound though, heading the ball into the upper 90 to give UWM the early lead.

Behnke scored just a few minutes later. After a nice buildup by the Panthers, Dorre found Kelly Lewers inside the box. The Horizon League Player of the Year took one touch before playing it back to Behnke, who one-timed her shot beautifully through the defense and into the side netting.

From there, Milwaukee’s defense took over, limiting the Titan attack to just three shots in the first half, with Panther keeper Paige Lincicum being asked to make just one save.

UWM didn’t let off the gas pedal though, continuing the attack in the second half. The Panthers got on the scoreboard again when Holbert made it 3-0 in the 71st minute off a rocket from 30 yards out that beat the keeper far post.

“Kelsey’s goal was fantastic and she set up the first goal well,” Henschel said. “It was a good effort by our whole team. The timing and movement were quite good tonight. There are little things that we’ll continue to clean up here. It’s November 8th and we hope to have a good game on Sunday. Tomorrow we’ll get up and clean things up. There were some little moments tonight that we can keep improving on.”

Milwaukee held the edge in shots, 12-9, on the evening. Lincicum made five saves on the night and recorded her fourth shutout of the year and her second in a row.

The Panthers will now play Oakland in Sunday’s Horizon League Championship. UWM is looking for its sixth-straight tournament championship. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Engelmann Stadium.

Postgame with coach Henschel –

Box score –