Glory soccer debuts in Green Bay
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – An overflowing crowd watched the Green Bay Glory women’s soccer team make its debut May 25 at Aldo Santaga Stadium on the campus of UWGB.
Despite a 2-1 defeat to the Milwaukee Torrent in a Women’s Premier Soccer League game, head coach Chad Johnson was overwhelmed by the atmosphere.
“To have this many people show up on a holiday weekend to watch our game this evening shows that Green Bay enjoys its soccer,” said Johnson. “The organization has done a fantastic job in promoting our product, and it showed on opening night.”
On a windy and very warm evening, the Glory got two early chances by Shannon Becker, but both were turned away by Milwaukee’s goaltender.
Then in the 24th minute, Caitlin Hawley took a corner kick and calmly found the back of the net to give Green Bay an early 1-0 lead in its inaugural season.
“She’s (Hawley) a unique player that has an ability to find the goal,” added Johnson. “She puts herself in the right situation, and when the ball is put properly in front of her, she’ll score nine out of 10 times.”
Despite a couple of great looks at the end of the first half (one by former Notre Dame Academy standout Trudy Quidzinski), the Glory couldn’t add to their margin as they took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Whatever message was said in the Torrent locker room at intermission, it was answered loud and clear in the final 45 minutes.
In the 50th minute, Milwaukee received a penalty kick after the Glory fouled in the restricted area.
Fortunately, for Green Bay, the free kick was missed high and wide left.
Then eight minutes later, the Torrent received another penalty kick. This time, Natalie Yass knocked home the kick to even the game.
“We knew they (Milwaukee) would come out and throw numbers forward,” Johnson said. “We weren’t calm in some situations deep in our zone. We pressed a bit and were called for those fouls. We’ll do a better job next time communicating and playing as a collective group. The effort was there, though.”
Former Green Bay Preble star Grace Taylor curved a shot on goal in the 72nd minute that was saved at the last second by Milwaukee’s goaltender.
With 8 minutes left in regulation, the Glory had a lapse defensively in front of the net and Milwaukee forward Nina Nicosia nailed the game-winner.
“It was a highly competitive matchup against a team that didn’t lose any games last year,” said Johnson. “The diversity of our young team, and everybody that helped build this group to this moment, should be thanked. You never like to lose but what a way to start the season off with tremendous fans.”
Milwaukee: 0, 2—2
Green Bay: 1, 0—1