Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Join the Panthers at Miller Park Friday

Just a reminder to fans that the Panthers will be taking on Youngstown State in a doubleheader at Miller Park this Friday, April 29, starting at 3 p.m.

Unlike in the past, the Brewers are out of town, so the 3 p.m. start time will not be an approximate time. So, no waiting for the Brewers and Pirates to play 14 innings before the Panthers hit the field like last season!

Parking lots and gates open at 2 p.m. and admission for the games and parking are both free. Concession stands will be available until midway through the second game as well.

The Panthers will also be honoring the members of the 20th Anniversary Team that day, on the field in between games. Come out to recognize the finest players to put on a UWM uniform over the past 20 years as an NCAA Division I program. Kevin Conway of the Sports Information Office has designed an impressive poster that honors the team and will be given out that day (see image above).

Also, don't forget, fans have a chance to enjoy the games from the AirTran Landing Zone that day as well. That information is available below.

From 5 to 7 p.m., the Airtran Landing Zone will be open to Panther fans.
- For just $20, you get access to a great buffet including brat/hot dog, potato salad, beans, chips, cookies, unlimited soda and two beers.
- Pay in advance by cash, check, credit card. Online at http://www4.uwm.edu/give_to_uwm/makegift/online_giving.cfm
(then select UWM Baseball @ Miller Park in the dropdown).
- Space is limited, so sign up quickly.
-Questions and RSVP's can be addressed to Chris Ciancimino @ 229-3904 or ciancim2@uwm.edu

Monday, April 25, 2011

UWM Men Extend Unbeaten Spring Slate

The Panthers are now 5-0-2 after seven games, with assistant coach Ben Shepherd again taking the time to catch us up on the happenings from late last week.


Thursday night saw us return under the lights at Engelmann Field, where where we played two 70-minute matches against Whitewater and the Bavarian Majors - a team which consisted of a lot of former alumni - many of whom had gone on to play professionally at some level. So, both games represented a good test for the boys.

In the first game against Whitewater, our play was much improved from the previous weekend against Lewis. And, although we went in at halftime scoreless, we had created a lot of good chances which we really should have capitalized on in all honesty. However, in the second half, the players continued to play good soccer and we eventually ran out comfortable winners gaining a 2-0 result, thanks to goals from Cody Banks (his sixth so far this spring) and freshman Kevin Ferron after a well-worked move.

In the second game against the Bavarians, the boys really played well in the first half and we went in at halftime with a commanding 4-0 lead, thanks to two goals from Robbie Refai - taking him to six goals this spring - as well as a penalty from Ross Van Osdol and an excellent strike from Kevin Ferron from outside the box.

Although the first goal was a mix-up at the back which gifted Robbie his first goal, at times our play was incisive and at a good tempo, as we passed the ball well and created some good chances - keeping things very simple which was pleasing to see.

In the second half, we were able to get everyone some good minutes and although we were not as dynamic as the first half. We ran out 6-2 winners with further goals from Robbie Boyd, who scored an excellent individual effort, and Edison Crespo after some good work down the right hand side, again from Robbie Boyd.

The Bavarian goals were netted by Neal Dombrowski, which was an excellent chip from just inside the box and a header from Adam Schultz.

Although our play was a little sloppy towards the end of the game, there were a lot of positives to come from the game overall and it was another good exercise for the team. It was pleasing to score eight goals on the night, with three freshman notching as well.

Next Sunday, May 1st, will see us finish out the spring as we play down at Valley Fields in the Wisconsin Cup with our first game slated for a 10 a.m. kickoff against Marquette. We look forward to seeing you all at the game.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Men's Soccer - Another Update

The Panthers are now 3-0-2 after five games, with assistant coach Ben Shepherd again taking the time to catch us up on the happenings from over the weekend.


Saturday saw us play against NCAA Division II opponent, Lewis University. Although originally it was due to be played at Lewis, because of the severe weather the game had to be switched to Engelmann Field due to their pitch not being fit to play on.

It was a wet, cold and dreary day and unfortunately our play mirrored the conditions that we had to play in, as we played to a frustrating 1-1 tie. As a whole, it was a disappointing performance and result, although credit must go to Lewis as they showed why they are one of the best teams in Division II soccer - having reached the NCAA Final Four a year ago by really working hard to try and stop us playing.

In the first half our passing was not at its best and we conceded possession far too easily. Although we still created some good chances which should have been taken, we trialed at half-time, 1-0, to their only real attack on our goal, as they scored with a header after a good cross from the right hand side.

In the second half our play was slightly improved and we deservedly equalized through Robbie Refai after an excellent tackle from Richard Johnson released Robbie Boyd down the right to put in a great cross, that Robbie tucked away with ease.

After the goal, our speed and tempo of play was far better and we certainly finished the game the stronger, but were unable to get the goal that our second half probably deserved and the game finished in a draw.

Positives from the game were that Jamie Ashcroft looked commanding at the back and as a freshman is showing good leadership qualities. Robbie Refai scored another goal which took him to four goals in the last three games and with many players missing due to injuries, we were able to give a lot of time to the younger players in the squad to gain some valuable experience - we started the game with six freshman on the field.

The game also highlighted areas that we as a squad need to work on, and as overall, we were disappointed with our general play. But fortunately, we get to play again at Engelmann this coming Thursday as we take on Whitewater at 6 p.m. and then play the Bavarian Majors, which will consist of a lot of our Alumni at 9 p.m.

So, we hope to see as many of you as possible at the game ... and hopefully the weather improves!!

Blog Features Doug Dekoning and His Dad

A local blogger recently featured Milwaukee senior Doug Dekoning and his father, Bob, in a recent posting.

The website, called "Loud Mom in the Stands" did a Q&A session with Bob, sharing his thoughts on being a dad of a college athlete.

Find the complete entry HERE.

Dekoning is in the midst of a stellar senior campaign. He leads the Horizon League with a .398 average and is second with his .473 on-base percentage, .586 slugging percentage and 51 hits. He also paces the squad in runs (26), total bases (75), home runs (4), walks (16) and steals (8).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jak Kraus Featured in Hometown Newspaper

Jak Kraus, a baseball player at Milwaukee from 1992-96, was featured in a story in his hometown newspaper over the weekend.

Kraus, originally from Fond du Lac, Wis., was named the third baseman on UWM's 20th Anniversary Baseball Team recently. Doug Whiteley of the Fond du Lac Reporter interviews Kraus and his story appears HERE.

Kraus batted .347 in 180 career games as a Panther, graduating as the program leader in average, games, at bats (515), hits (178), runs scored (137), doubles (43), triples (8), home runs (26), RBI (127), total bases (315), slugging percentage (.612) and walks (99). He went on to bat .336 in four seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Update on the Men's Soccer Team

The Panthers have nine games scheduled for the spring season, which began on April 3. Already 3-0-1 through the first four games, assistant coach Ben Shepherd has taken the time to catch us up on the happenings from the first four matches.


With our spring season off and running, I thought it appropriate to send out an update to let you know how things are progressing.

We kicked off the spring down at Northwestern April 3rd, where we played two back-to-back matches of 60 minutes against the Wildcats and Lewis.

In the first game against Northwestern, the match started off very scrappy for both teams and our play was, at times, a little rusty which we had expected with this being our first spring date. But, as the game wore on, our play greatly improved and although it ended a goalless draw, I think it is safe to say that after hitting the cross bar twice in the second half, that we had the better of the game and should have come out of it with a win. But, never the less, a clean sheet against a good Northwestern team was a pleasing result.

We then had a short 15-minute break before turning around to play NCAA Division-II opponent Lewis, who a year ago went to the NCAA Final Four. In the first half we looked a little tired and our play was not as fluent as we would have liked and we squandered possession far too easily. As a result, we trailed at the break 1-0 to a scrappy goal from a set-piece.

In the second half, the boys came out and really played well and our fitness levels really told as the game went on, as we began to break them down at will. We ended up winning the game, 3-1, with two good goals from Cody Banks and one from and Andrew Wiedabach, which was a well worked move. All in all, it was a very productive weekend and with a few players missing through injury, it gave everyone an opportunity to play and show what they can (and can't) do which for the coaching staff was good to see.

We returned to Engelmann Field, where we took on Concordia University and Cardinal Stritch in two 70-minute games April 9th. We beat Concordia 3-0, with two goals from Cody Banks and another from Robbie Refai and all three were very well-taken goals and all came within the first 25 minutes of the game.

In truth, we played some very good soccer at times, and really should have scored a lot more goals. The only disappointing aspect of our play was that we weren't more ruthless enough with our finishing; however, again at times we played some very good soccer which was pleasing to see.

In the second game we turned around and beat Cardinal Stritch, 3-1, in another decent performance with two goals from Robbie Refai and another from Cody Banks. We really were down to the bare bones with us having quite a few injuries, so many players had to play in different positions to what they are normally accustomed to. It was a good learning experience for them and the team as a whole.

Again, this was a productive weekend for the team and it was pleasing to see our forwards on the day in Robbie Refai and Cody Banks get three goals a piece and it was also pleasing to see U.S National Team Player, Gerardo Saavedra, make his debut in a UWM uniform after missing the entirety of last season through tearing his ACL in pre-season.

All of the squad has now played good minutes in our first two spring dates. We will head down to Lewis this Saturday for a one-off match slated for a noon kickoff, where we can hopefully continue to build on the momentum from our previous two matches.

I should also mention that this week the boys were able to take some time out from their schedules to help out at St. Vincent High School with the 'Special Olympics' where they helped to teach the kids basic soccer skills to help them have a fun and enjoyable experience. It was very rewarding for our guys to see how happy the kids were to have them there and we plan to do similar activities throughout the spring to continue to promote the program within the local community.

Don't forget that we will be back in Engelmann Field on Thursday, April 21st, where we will take on Whitewater at 6 p.m. and then the Bavarian Majors at around 8 p.m., and I hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baseball on Time Warner Sports 32

The Panthers will play three home non-conference games this spring on Time Warner Cable's "Sports 32". The schedule was announced the last week in March and will feature Milwaukee's games against Carroll University April 12, Wisconsin Lutheran College April 19 and Northern Illinois University May 17.

More broadcast information will be made available for the May 17th date, as Scott Warras and Scott Wisniewski call all the action from Henry Aaron Field.

At this time, we have the broadcast information for both the Carroll game that was played Tuesday and the upcoming contest against Wisconsin Lutheran.

UWM vs. Carroll
Wednesday, April 13: 7 - 9:30 pm
Thursday, April 14: 8:30 - 11 am
Sunday, April 17: 7 - 9:30 pm

UWM vs. Wisconsin Lutheran
Wednesday, April 20: 7 - 9:30 pm
Thursday, April 21: 1 - 3:30 pm
Saturday, April 23: 12:30 - 3 pm

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Family Affair

There have been numerous occasions where brothers have played against each other in college sports, but when the family members play at different NCAA levels, the occurrence is definitely not as common...

Fans that came out to the Milwaukee baseball game against St. Norbert College Tuesday night at Henry Aaron Field got a chance to witness a family affair, all due to a scheduling quirk that worked out for the Schneider baseball brothers. UWM's Mike, a freshman, and SNC's David, a junior, found themselves on the mound as each team's starting pitcher.

After a cancellation early in the season took a game off Milwaukee's schedule, the Panthers added the contest against the Green Knights to the slate for this week. As luck would have it, after growing up playing baseball together, the brothers had the opportunity to battle it out against each other.

Things went Mike's way, with UWM winning, 11-0, but that didn't take anything away from the opportunity.

"I just took it like any other game," David said. "I mean, I know he's over there pitching, but I wanted to try and save the 'brother stuff' for after the game. I approached the same way as any other game, but it was tough. There were guys telling me 'oh, it's Schneider v. Schneider match-up' but I mean, I tried not to change anything."

"I didn't know what to think," Mike said. "It was hard in the dugout. You want your brother to succeed, but you want your team too as well. So, it was just that balance I had to figure out. But, when it came down to it, you play to win and save the brother stuff for later."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Live Blog: Baseball at UIC (DH)

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Les Miller Field in Chicago, Ill., for today's doubleheader between UIC and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m., with game two following 30 minutes after completion of the opener.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Media Coverage for Baseball Team

Cale Tassi, a sophomore on the Milwaukee baseball team, has been featured in a Q&A interview with his hometown paper.

Playing for UW-Superior in 2009, Tassi struck out 46 batters in 40 innings before deciding to transfer to UWM. After sitting out in 2010, Tassi has appeared in seven games this season, going 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA.

Read the release HERE.

Live Blog: Milwaukee at UIC

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Les Miller Field in Chicago, Ill., for today's game between UIC and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.

A Few Final Men's Basketball Numbers

I’ll have our usual full season in review on the main website over the next few weeks, including updated player notes, photo galleries and more. I also have a few thoughts from Rob Jeter looking back and ahead that I’ll put up on the main site, too.

But, with the men’s college basketball season officially ending Monday night, here are a few final tallies and rankings.

Schedule Notes

Milwaukee wound up finishing 94th in the official final NCAA RPI and played 11 games against teams in the top 100. The Panthers went 5-6 against those teams, including two wins over #19 Butler. With the Bulldogs advancing to the championship game, this was the fourth time in the last seven seasons the Panthers have played against a team in the title game – Illinois 2005, Florida 2006, Butler 2010, Butler 2011.

National Rankings

The final NCAA statistics landed a few Panthers in the top quarter or third of the national rankings.

Kaylon Williams finished 32nd nationally in assists per game (5.4) while Anthony Hill was 42nd nationally in field goal shooting (52.9 percent). Tone Boyle wound up 63rd in three-point field goal percentage (35.3 percent) and 68th in three-point field goals per game (2.5).

As a team, Milwaukee finished up 63rd nationally in three-pointers per game (7.6).

League Numbers

Williams did wind up winning the Horizon League assist crown, leading the league with his 5.4 assists per game. In all, he had 178 assists in 33 games. Remember, he led the Missouri Valley Conference in assists when he was at Evansville as a freshman. I’ll look into it, but I’m guessing there haven’t been too many college players to lead two different leagues in assists. Williams also finished 10th in the league in rebounding.

The Panthers wound up with three players in the top 20 in the league in scoring, as Hill finished eighth (15.3 ppg), Boyle 17th (12.9 ppg) and Tony Meier 18th (12.0 ppg). Hill also finished fifth in rebounding (6.6) and fifth in field goal percentage (52.9 percent).

Meier was also second in three-point field goal percentage (44.3 percent), fifth in three-pointers made (2.0) and seventh in free throw percentage (80.6 percent).

Senior Career Tallies

Hill and Boyle finished their careers with some notable numbers.

Hill ended with 1,022 points and 513 rebounds, becoming one of just six Panthers to join the 1000-500 club. He also wound up shooting 49.1 percent for his career and averaged 8.5 points per game. Hill played in 120 games, tied for the second-most in school history.

Boyle finished with 149 three-pointers, 823 points and a 13.1 points per game average.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Panthers Win Spring Match At Marquette

Elizabeth Egerer and Kerri Schuh had nine kills apiece as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee claimed a three-set spring volleyball win over Marquette Thursday night at the Al McGuire Center.

Set scores in the exhibition contest were 25-22, 10-25, 19-17.

Schuh hit .500 in collecting her nine kills while Samantha Trawitzke had a double-doubles of 10 assists and 10 digs. Three other players had six digs apiece.

Eleven different players appeared in the match for the Panthers, who will continue their spring schedule Saturday at the Three Wise Men Classic in Chicago.

Baseball's 20th Anniversary Team

The Milwaukee baseball program named the members of the 20th Anniversary Team earlier today, read about it here.

It didn't take long for the media to get ahold of it.

Matt Houk, named the shortstop on the squad, has been the head volleyball coach at South Dakota for the past three seasons.

The Sioux City Journal already has a release up on it's website.

I will keep an eye out for more releases and get them up on the blog as they come in.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Women's Basketball Post-Season Notes

I wanted to wait until the women’s basketball season was done to do an added wrap-up on some things of note from the 2010-11 season.

Tough Schedule
Most notably, Milwaukee played 17 games against 12 teams that played in post-season tournaments (out of 20 different opponents). It underscores the difficulty of the team’s schedule, both non-conference and in league play. Four of the team’s 12 wins this season came against post-season teams, with some strong performances in losses. Those 12 teams combined to go 20-10 in post-season tournaments with six of those losses coming to other Milwaukee opponents. And, Toledo, a team the Panthers played tough on the road in December, won the WNIT.

National Rankings
Lindsay Laur finished second in the nation with her school-record 92.8 percent free throw percentage. She trailed only Emily London from Samford and her 93.6 percent shooting clip. Laur was also 47th in rebounding (9.4/g) and 52nd in scoring (17.3/g).

Angela Rodriguez finished 14th in three-point percentage (.421). That figure was second among freshmen.

Milwaukee, as a team, finished second in the country in free throw percentage, 19th in three-point percentage and 30th in three-pointers made. The Panthers shot a school-record 79 percent at the free throw line and 36.4 percent from three-point range. They also hit a school-record 212 threes on the season (7.1/g).

Incoming Panther Update
The Panthers signed five high school seniors to National Letters of Intent in November. The group had eventful senior seasons…

Ashley Green won a Wisconsin Division 1 title with Nicolet and was a unanimous All-State First-Team selection.

Kiki Wilson helped her Montini Catholic team in Naperville, Ill., to a second-straight Class 3A state title. She was named All-State Special Mention.

The Swopshire twins out of Fort Zumwalt West High School in Missouri helped their team to a 25-5 record and a No. 6 state ranking. The team fell in the Class 5 quarterfinals to the eventual state champs, 48-45. Jasmine was an All-Conference First-Team selection and Janna was named to the second team.

Lastly, Macie Dorow wrapped up her career at Duluth East (Minn.) with a strong all-around senior season, averaging 10.2 points, 4.6 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. (DEHS does not play in a conference)

Supporting Information
Here are UWM’s opponents that played in the post-season (Milwaukee’s record against the team in parenthesis)…

- Green Bay (0-2) – The Phoenix made a run to the Sweet 16 before falling to No. 1 seed Baylor by just 10.

- Oklahoma and Michigan State (Both 0-1) – The Panthers hung with both nationally-ranked teams. UWM was within five after 35 minutes against OU In the season-opener. Against the Spartans on the road, Milwaukee cut a 14-point second half to just two with 3:09 to play before falling by seven. Both teams flirted with the top-10 of the national polls for much of the season.

In the NCAA Tournament, the No. 4 seed Spartans beat Northern Iowa (another Panther opponent) before falling to Green Bay in the second round). The Sooners were a No. 6 seed and advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Notre Dame, which was national runner-up.

- Northern Iowa (0-1) – The Panthers lost to MSU as a 13 seed.

- Toledo (0-1) – Milwaukee overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to lead the Rockets late, but fell. UT then got a bid to the WNIT and knocked off USC for the WNIT Championship.

- Illinois State (0-1) – The Redbirds made the WNIT, knocking off, among others, Wisconsin, Arkansas on their way to the final four of the event.

- Wisconsin (0-1) – The Badgers defeated Butler in the first round of the WNIT before falling to Illinois State, which advanced to the final four of the event.

- Butler (1-1) – The Bulldogs got the Horizon League’s automatic bid to the WNIT and fell to Wisconsin in the first round.

- Chicago State (1-0) – Milwaukee topped the Cougars in Chicago early in the season behind Courtney Lindfors’ 35 points and 13 rebounds. CSU then went on to the final four of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. The team won two games in the tourney, including against Cleveland State, before falling to eventual WBI champ Cal State Bakersfield in the semifinals.

- Cleveland State (1-1) and Wright State (0-3) – Both Horizon League schools got bids to the Women’s Basketball Invitational and were the tourney’s two No. 1 seeds. Cleveland beat IPFW in the first round before falling to Chicago State. Wright State also won a game, beating Buffalo, before falling to Manhattan in the second round.

- South Dakota (1-0) – USD is another team the Panthers defeated in the regular season that turned up in the Women’s Basketball Invitational and won a post-season game. The Coyotes went out in the second round against Cal State Bakersfield.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Live Blog: Baseball at Northwestern

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill., for today's game between Northwestern and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.

Costello On The Dennis Krause Show

UWM Director of Athletics Rick Costello just taped an appearance on The Dennis Krause Show on Sports32.

The show will air a number of times next week, with Rick and Dennis discussing a wide variety of topics related to the Panthers.

Here is the full list of air times:

Mon. April 11 - 6 pm and 10 pm
Tues. April 12 - 7:30 am, 1 pm, 5 pm, 9 pm and 11 pm
Wed. April 13 - 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 6 pm and 10 pm
Thurs. April 14 - 7:30 am, 1:30 pm, 5 pm and 11 pm
Fri. April 15 - 11 am, 6 pm and 10:30 pm
Sat. April 16 - 9 am, 11 am, 4 pm and 10:30 pm
Sun. April 17 - 9 am, 1 pm, 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm