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-   -   UDMSOC: Flyers Suffer 3-0 Setback to UW-Milwaukee (http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36901)

Chris R 09-04-2023 09:47 PM

UDMSOC: Flyers Suffer 3-0 Setback to UW-Milwaukee
Three second half goals broke a scoreless halftime as the UW-Milwaukee Panthers up-ended the Dayton Flyers 3-0 on a Labor Day matinee at Baujan Field. UD falls to 1-2-1 on the season while Milwaukeee earns their first victory of the year to improve to 1-2-0.

Warm but otherwise perfect conditions accompanied an unusual 5pm kickoff as UD looked to complete the weekend sweep to help take the sting out of last weekend's results (a loss and a tie) in Columbus. As the match got underway it was apparent both teams had to earn the victory the hard way -- both physically and technically.

The opening minutes were hotly contested as each side took turns gaining possession and probing for weak spots in the opposing defenses. The Flyers played more direct and sent diagonal long balls to the mids and strikers pinching up along the touch lines. The Panthers chose to move the ball more centrally and connect shorter passes. After the first 15 minutes however, not much had been settled other than lots of defending and questionable offensive tactics in the attacking third of the pitch.

Neither team dominated the run of play as the first half continued. Possession switched back and forth in the central third of the field, but few dangerous scoring chances were generated on either end -- nevermind dangerous shots on goal that ultimately challenged the goalkeepers. As the remaining 15 minutes played out, the match became a tug-of-war and got increasingly more physical for 50/50 balls on the grass and high-ball jousts in the air. Both sides put forth a good work ethic but the sweat equity lacked purpose and precision for much of the half and turned the game into a battle of miscues and near-misses. The pinball-like play also lacked suspense and made for less-than-entertaining soccer.

Flyer goalkeeper Dario Caetano came up with a huge tip-save over the cross-bar midway through half to turn away Milwaukee's best scoring opportunity.

Halftime arrived with the match still scoreless. UD had a slight edge in shots (8-7) and corner kicks (3-2).

If the 2nd half restart proved to be anything like the bulk of the first half, the first team to put the ball in the back of the net would end up the likely winner as quality scoring chances were few and far between. That's ultimately how most of the 2nd half played out as both teams took turns attempting to push forward and generate scoring opportunities in the opposing goal boxes. Few chances however resulted in quality strikes on frame as the match continued to be a battle of back lines cleaning up somewhat sketchy offensive purpose and execution.

The Flyers continued to play long balls down the touch lines but had trouble turning the corner and putting quality crosses in the Panther goal box. When UD tried working the ball centrally, linking multiple passes was problematic and few players were able to break away into space to push forward with dribble-drives. Milwaukee however had no better luck for long stretches and while each team created just enough half-chances to keep fans in their seats, the match remained a battle played mostly between the goal boxes.

Milwaukee finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the 79th minute on a penalty kick to go up 1-0 and based on the run of play that seemed like more than enough to win the match. The sequence cost UWM a red card however and were now down a player. The Flyers were awarded a PK of their own just seconds after the restart, but Joseph Melto Quiah couldn't finish it and UD still trailed 1-0. That was a huge missed opportunity for Dayton on a night when quality scoring chances lacked abundance.

The Panthers scored again in the 82nd minute to double their lead and essentially put the game out of reach -- Dayton's Mesfin Roda was sent off with red card to make matters worse and eliminate UD's man-advantage in the field of play. UWM added one more goal in the 87th minute to twist the knife and put a capstone on their strong 2nd half.

UD out-shot UWM 12-7 after intermission -- including a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks -- but UWM's 8-6 edge in shots on goal ultimately told the story of the match. The Panthers weren't moderately better in any phase of the game other than capitalizing on their scoring opportunities. The Flyers generated little creativity or punch either individually or collectively once they encroached on the UWM goal box. Dayton did hit the crossbar and had a shot blocked off the goal line, but these opportunities were long after the fate of the match had been decided.

UD doesn't get beat 3-0 at home very often and the final score was not indicative of the overall run of play, but the lack of quality scoring chances and dangerous combination play is something that's rarely lacking in the men's soccer program. UD found the net in a 4-0 whipping of IUPUI just days earlier, but so far the offense has been largely hit or miss.

It will need to "hit" on Thursday as UD travels to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. The Spartans are 2-0-1.

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