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College Soccer


September 28, 2013
Horvat scores four in Wisconsin-Milwaukee win

DETROIT, Mich. -- Sophomore Aaron Horvat tied the Horizon League and school record by scoring four goals in a game to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team to a 5-3 victory over the University of Detroit Saturday afternoon at Titan Field.

Horvat was the star of the show, becoming the first UWM player to net a hat trick in eight seasons and then topping that by adding his fourth goal of the contest to equal the league and school record. The last UWM player to score four goals was Neil Dombrowski against Loyola in October 2005. The league record of four is held by 12 players, most recently tied in 2006, giving Horvat the highest goal output by a league player in over seven years.

"Aaron had a fantastic performance today," Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman said. "Not only did he score four times, but they were all really nice goals. The build-up on all of his goals was very nice combination play, but he finished with beautiful goals."

The Panthers (7-0-1, 1-0-0 Horizon League) scored first but actually trailed the Titans (0-4-4, 0-1-0 Horizon League) early in the second half before responding with three unanswered goals in a span of 5:55. When Milwaukee fell behind, 2-1, it marked the first time that it trailed in a game in 2013.

"What I was most proud of was when we went down, 2-1, and how we responded," Kelderman said. "We scored three goals in a matter of six or seven minutes and picked up our intensity. I was just really pleased with how we responded."

The victory made it eight-straight unbeaten for the Panthers at 7-0-1, the longest undefeated streak since 1985 to start a season. That 1985 squad started 12-0, the only streak longer in program history.

"We talked about it as a group before the game today," Kelderman said. "We are pretty excited with our non-conference record up to this point, and that's great and is a sign that we are doing well and getting better each week. But, it was preparation for conference play. Our number one goal is to play well in league games and, ultimately, that is the ticket to getting to the NCAA Tournament. We went into the Detroit game knowing that they were thinking the same thing and that each team came in to the game with a 0-0 record."

The eight combined goals was also a surprise to most, as both teams had recorded a strong defensive effort so far in 2013. Milwaukee had allowed just three goals in seven games coming in to play today, while Detroit had allowed seven in seven games and never more than two. The five goals by UWM are the most for the team since defeating Green Bay, 5-1, on October 13, 2004.

Horvat got things going early on the day, netting his first in the 13th minute to give UWM the initial goal of the match for the eighth game in a row this season.

But, Detroit would respond pretty quickly, finding the back of the net in the 17th minute to equalize at 1-1, snapping freshman goalkeeper Liam Anderson's scoreless streak at 297:31 in the process. It stayed that way until halftime, despite Milwaukee having the better of the run of play and the majority of possession.

"They are a team that is very direct and play from a lot of restarts and throw-ins," Kelderman said. "And when the ball is in your box, it's a lot of action in front of your goal. We knew that was going to be a big part of their attack and there were times when we defended it well and times when we did not. The first goal was an error on one of our defenders, but that happens, that is college soccer. We accepted that it was a mistake and we had to make up for it."

After a relatively quiet first half for both teams on the offensive side of the ball, the fireworks came fast and furious just after intermission. Detroit struck first, taking a 2-1 lead on Adam Bedell's goal in the 48th minute.

No worries. Horvat responded just 32 seconds later, leveling the game at 2-2 on assists from senior Robbie Boyd and junior Rami Younes.

Junior Laurie Bell got into the scoring column next, with Boyd again assisting. He hit the net for his fifth goal of the season on a header in the 51st minute to make it 3-2.

Less than four minutes later, Horvat struck for the hat trick in the 54th minute to increase the lead to two and give UWM an insurance tally. They would need it pretty quickly. Detroit would trim the deficit to one goal in the 63rd minute when it made it 4-3 off a corner kick.

Bell looked to add his second of the day in the 66th minute. After some fine ballwork by Younes, sophomore Declan Rodriguez one-touched a thru ball to Bell who was streaking in on goal. Only an impressive save kept the score at 4-3 at the time.

Horvat took care of the insurance score later, netting his fourth of the game in the 73rd minute to round out the scoring in the match.

On the day, UWM held a 19-11 advantage in shots - including 12-8 in shots on goal - and had four of the 11 corner kicks in the game. Both teams were whistled
for 10 fouls.

It's back on the road after a short rest for the Panthers, heading to Nebraska to take on Omaha in a 4 p.m. contest Wednesday.

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