GALLERY: Late goal leads to Norse demise

Christopher Decker, Sports Editor

It was another gut wrenching loss for Bob Sheehan and his women’s soccer team. The difference just happened to be the opponent.

The Norse were defeated by the Milwaukee Panthers in their first Horizon League home game, dropping their record to 5-5 on the season and 1-1 in league play. The Panthers improved to 6-3-2 on the season and continues to hold the number one spot in the Horizon League.

“It’s early in the season. Obviously we wanted to win but we didn’t. We will continue to improve and get better,” Sheehan said. “They were a physical team.”

The Milwaukee goal came in the 74th minute, when Maria Stephans rifled a corner kick towards the goal that glanced off the goalkeeper Brooke Schocker’s hands and crossed the center line to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead they would not give up.

“They do well with corners. She (Stephans) puts the ball pretty much where she wants it every time,” Sheehan said. “She’s an outstanding player.”

 NKU took only eight shots in this game and struggled to gain and keep possession in the second half. The Panthers fired 16 shots and took 10 corner kicks, while the Norse only had one opportunity for a corner.  Mallory Geuris made four saves for the Panthers as well.

Injuries to Key Players

In the 25th minute, Emily Lohmann and Panther foward Anna Smalley collided during a chase for a loose ball. Lohmann collided with Smalley and both fell to the ground. 

Smalley was able to jog off the field and return for the Panthers. Lohmann stayed down for several minutes before walking slowly off the field under her own power, but did not return to game action.

Six minutes later, Jessica Frey pulled up after a long run for the ball and grabbed the back of her leg. She was on the ground for only a few minutes and was helped off the field and did not return to the game. After the game she was walking under her own power but had ice taped to the back of the leg.

“We put 11 competent and good players on the field. Ally Perkins went up front and Erin Sutton went up front,” Sheehan said. “We just keep evolving as a team.” 

The offense slowed down after Frey left and was unable to get much going without her speed in the second half.

Brooke Schocker 

Schocker replaced Lohmann in the goal, the second time all season she has seen her number called. The senior made the most of the opportunity despite the one goal, making five saves in her 64 minutes of action.

“Brooke went in and represented herself very well,” Sheehan said. “She made a lot of good saves.”

This included a spectacular save, after she jumped to save a high shot that bounced off the cross bar back into play, fell, and then jumped up to make another save after the ball bounced to a Milwaukee player.

Looking Forward

The Norse will look for revenge on Wednesday, when they take on Oakland in a rematch of the 2015 Horizon League semi-final game.

The Norse fought hard in that semi-final game, but eventually fell to the Grizzlies 4-1 in PK’s. The Norse also were defeated in last years regular season matchup with Oakland 1-0.

The game will be part of another double header with the men’s team, and will kickoff at 7:30. The game will be available on ESPN3.