Sept. 9, 2007
MADISON, Wisc. - Nicole Sperl scored in the 105th minute to break a scoreless tie and lift the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a 1-0 victory over the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team Sunday morning on the final day of the Wisconsin Invitational.
With the win UWM improved to 3-1-0 this season, while the Gauchos fell to 1-3-0 after dropping their third straight contest.
Midfielder Erin Kreuser started the game-winning play when she got the ball in the near corner. Dribbling around UCSB defenders and along the end line, she slotted a cross to Sperl in front of the goal. Sperl fought off a defender and one-timed a shot high into the net at the 104:17 for the final 1-0 margin.
The score ended a long, physical match that was at times played at a frenetic pace. Both teams had limited opportunities, while UWM held possession for much of the game. The Panthers out-shot the Gauchos 17-9, but each team recorded three shots in the two overtime periods. Junior forward Michelle Russell led Santa Barbara with three shots off the bench and junior midfielder Kathleen Prieto notched two.
Milwaukee's best opportunity in regulation came in the 64th minute when midfielder Pam Shipway sent a sharp cross into the middle of the box where forward Louise Vraney hammered a diving header right into the gut of UCSB goalkeeper Katie Wright.
Santa Barbara nearly scored minutes later when freshman defender Kailyn Kugler intercepted an errant UWM passed and dribbled in towards keeper Erin Kane one on one. Her shot came from the near side and Kane made a sprawling save to her right, pushing the ball past the net.
Kane came up big in the first extra period, as the Gauchos open style nearly netted the golden goal in the 95th minute. She punched the ball away, but sophomore midfielder Sarah Stoltz collected it at the top of the box and lofted a shot on net. Kane leapt and tipped the ball off the cross bar to preserve the shutout and the ball was cleared to safety.
Despite allowing the decisive goal, Wright had a tremendous match between the posts for UCSB, recording a season-high 10 saves. Kane had five saves for Milwaukee.
The Gauchos come home Friday, September 14 to face Denver University at 7:00 p.m.