Men's Soccer Tops St. Thomas in Exhibition Action, 1-0
By: Rachel Buck
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – With 21 different players seeing action, the Green Bay men’s soccer team held a 15-3 advantage in shots and opened its exhibition season with a 1-0 win over visiting St. Thomas on Wednesday afternoon at Aldo Santaga Stadium.
Two of head coach Dan Popik's 14 freshmen connected on the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute. Jeremy Nji (Kimberly, Wis.) collected a corner kick from Tyler Swanner (Glen Carbon, Ill.) and sent it to the back of the net to put the Phoenix ahead. The goal was the culmination of a second half controlled by Green Bay, as the Phoenix put up nine shots, including five on goal.
The Phoenix looked to strike first in the eighth minute as senior Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) took two quality shots, including a header that just sailed over the crossbar. Both teams battled in the midfield and Green Bay threatened in the 26th and 35th minutes with set pieces just outside the box, but both attempts failed to produce a goal.
Green Bay set the tone in the second half, as junior Lawrence Talery (Coon Rapids, Minn.) forced UST’s keeper Mitchell Wolff into a diving save just two minutes into the action. Krenzien had a shot in the 56th minute that drew Wolff off of his line, but Chris Kirihara came up with the team save on the line to leave the scoreboard blank. The Phoenix saw three more close opportunities in the dwindling minutes of the second half before Nji’s goal gave the team the win.
The Phoenix plays its final exhibition match of the season on Saturday, traveling to Madison to take on the Badgers at 5:00 p.m.
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