FC Milwaukee Torrent Defeats Bavarian United SC 1-0 in USASA Region II Final

By Joe Chatz/NPSL.com

FC Milwaukee Torrent became the second NPSL team to punch their ticket to the 2024 USASA National Amateur Cup Semi-Finals after defeating local rivals Bavarian United SC 1-0 in an extra time thriller at Hart Park.

Milwaukee will now be one of the four teams that will be at the NIU Soccer Complex in DeKalb, Illinois from July 25-28 to compete for a spot in the main draw of 2025 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after previously defeating Chicago House AC 6-2 in the region quarterfinals and Vlora FC 1-0 in the region semifinals.

It was a hot and humid evening in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin but both sides brought energy throughout the proceedings and even taking things up a notch after 90 minutes wasn’t enough for a victor to show itself.

The Gateway Conference side was led to their spot in DeKalb by goalkeeper Sam Ortner as he was called into action early and often throughout the 120 minutes while maintaining the clean sheet.  Bavarian United first tested Ortner eight minutes after kickoff when the Depauw Tigers keeper left his line and slid in to deny Buran Husseini’s shot after a strong counterattack.

Ortner had luck on his side a few moments later on what ended up being the best chance of the match for Bavarian United in the tenth minute.  Bavarian’s Logan Andryk hit a looping header that flew over the outstretched fingertips of Ortner but the ball bounced off the crossbar and away from danger.

Milwaukee finally found their footing in the offensive half of the pitch after 15 minutes and would have scored in the 18th minute if not for a spectacular save from Bavarian goalkeeper Agustin Rey.  Taylor Pill’s corner kick was met in the air by and turned goalward by Jai Hsieh-Bailey but Rey leapt to his left and managed to parry away the sensational goal-scoring chance for Milwaukee. 

The hosts kept the pressure on and came inches away from taking the lead again in the 27th minute.  Davis Nelson made a run with the ball down before playing a pass to Lucas Nesthus to his left.  Nesthus hit the ball well but it rang off the post before the follow-up shot from Juan Lopez flew just wide of the net. 

Rey was forced into more heroics by Milwaukee just before halftime as he fully extended himself to deny Lopez on the half-volley in the 38th minute.

Milwaukee continued the second half like they finished the first: on the front foot. 

Jamie Le Comte played a perfect through ball to Juan Lopez in the 47th minute and Lopez’s shot was goal-bound before Rey managed to get a boot on the ball to keep the match scoreless.  Le Comte had his own near-goal moments later when his right-footed effort deflected off the post and away from the Bavarian United net.

Both sides began making substitutions and the match subsequently opened up a lot but neither side was able to break the deadlock in regulation time.

Milwaukee’s best chance in the second half came in the 82nd minute after some chaos in front of the Bavarian goal.  Angel Gongora hit a shot that took a deflection before Agustin Rey was able to knock it away from danger. 

Neither side broke through and the match went into extra time, where Milwaukee was finally able to take the lead.

Alejandro Martinez made a strong run down the left side for Milwaukee in the 97th minute and hit a cross just as he reached the endline that reached a mass of humanity in front of the Bavarian net.  Paco Piscaglia was the closest Milwaukee attacker to the ball as it trickled into the Bavarian’s net, and the finish was eventually credited as an own goal.

Milwaukee held off a late onslaught of pressure from Bavarian and secured the 1-0 win after over 120 minutes of soccer in steamy conditions. 

Ortner kept the sheet clean for Milwaukee and said his backline helped him stay grounded as they fought to secure the win after scoring in extra time. 

“My mindset’s just ‘always save the ball,’ so nothing really changes.  I know now it’s not going to PKs so I want to keep it that way.  The guys in that back line just helped me through it and we all communicated and it was just really good work by those four in the back.”

Milwaukee Torrent head coach Jeff Pill was taking in the moment after his side defeated one of the most historic soccer clubs in the country. 

“We have so much respect for [Bavarians],” said Pill, “their history and what they’ve meant for the community and soccer in the state…Hats off to them.  And I think our process was good.  We created some good chances.  Like we had to post I think four times.  But they had their chances.  They had their game plan and they were executing it.  And yeah, just proud of the guys that they kept their composure, especially when they got tight on the end there.”

Photo Credit: Claudio Martinez/NPSL.com

 

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