The preseason is over. Let the real season begin. The Milwaukee Torrent women travel to Minnesota Saturday to take on the Fire 95 in their first conference match in team history. Kickoff is set for 4pm at Seafoam Stadium in St Paul.
Because of NCAA rules, certain players on the women’s roster have just joined the team this week. Rapidly, they would have to get caught up on the team’s system, the philosophy and even their teammate’s names. But the Torrent plays in the WPSL, the highest level of women’s sport in the state. These players hold themselves and each other to a standard that puts preparation first.
“Each day we are getting closer and learning to play together,” states Robyn Elliott. “We all come from different teams, but we’re learning to mold together as the Torrent, which is exciting to see.”
When the Torrent takes on Minnesota, they will do so with a very talented midfield, full of depth. Anchored by Jen Eberhardy and Annika Martensson, opponents will find it difficult to maneuver anywhere they go on the pitch. Coach Mark Litton has a number of talented options. Mariah Downs, Dani Sobelman, Robyn Elliott, Eli Beard and Marybeth Sullivan provide him with the flexibility to make substitutions without a drop off in talent.
Up-top the Torrent look to be creative and generate scoring chances with an equally deep roster of talent. Cardinal Stritch players Kayla Irmen and sisters, Caitlin and Nicole Hawley will battle for time on the pitch with other stand outs like Jordyn Rolli, Carrie Madden, Gaby Zabala and Haley Johnson. Leah Celarek will center the attack against Minnesota with Aubrey Krahn playing the top striker position.
Defensively, the Torrent will continue to work on chemistry building that is always critical to the success of a team. Kelli Swanson, Bonnie Lacy, Emma Keckeisen, Taylor Tabbert and crew have been working hard in practice to learn each other’s styles. They have done a great job in a short period of time gelling and working as a unit.
Behind them, the Torrent approach the season with goalkeepers Sarah Klimisch and Elaina LaMacchia. Klimisch made a number of solid stops in the second half of the women’s shutout match their first time out. She will look to continue this play against a Minnesota team that is coming off a 3-1 victory against Dakota Fusion FC.
Coach Litton has done a great job in a short period of time preparing and evaluating his roster. The Torrent are ready and excited for this first chapter in team history. A bus ride up and three points coming back is the goal for the team on Saturday.
After being on the road for their last two matches, the Torrent Men return to Hart Park Stadium on Friday evening. The Torrent will look to gain their first three points in a matchup with the visiting FC Indiana. Kickoff is set for 7pm.
The Torrent, who seem to have broken out of their early season scoring slump, will work on tightening up other aspects of their game. Last time out, Kalamazoo took advantage of the Torrent by playing quickly in transition. With a number of players missing the match, the Torrent had few options to counter the fresh legs being fed into the match by the home team.
Milwaukee will have back on the roster a full complement of talent. Forward Mark Hutchinson will look to have a big game offensively, while Drew Ruggles will help to solidify the midfield. On the backline, the Torrent will still be without defender Stuart Grable, who will miss his third match due to a fractured rib.
FC Indiana travels to Milwaukee looking to get on the score sheet. In their three previous matches this season, FC Indiana has a goal differential of -15. The Torrent backline has been coming together and playing much more consistently. Playing in front of goalkeeper Agustin Rey, the Torrent defense will work to gain their second clean sheet on the year.
With a third of the season already complete, the Torrent men find themselves in a crucial juncture to gain three points. After two draws on the road, the return to Hart Park Stadium couldn’t have come at a better time.
Last time the Milwaukee Torrent women took the field it resulted in a 1-0 victory. Wednesday evening they look to better those results when they travel to Cedarburg in a rematch against North Shore United. Kickoff is set for 7pm at PWSB Soccer Park.
This past Monday marked the first time that the Torrent women were able to practice together as an entire unit. Because of NCAA rules, many of the players had to sit patiently for the collegiate season to finish. Now the team is primed and ready to build their chemistry together, as they look to take on the WPSL’s North Conference.
Mariah Downs and company look to build off their effort from a week ago. In the second half they were able to work together as a unit to create chances that led to the first goal in team history. With much of the team having only recently met, the team’s first outing was about getting to know each other’s style of play.
Since last match, the women have been working on learning who they are as a unit. With the full roster now assembled on the field, and not just on paper, they will use their time together Wednesday evening to continue to gain confidence in the system that has been put in place.
“Our first game was a bit challenging,” states Head Coach Mark Litton. “We were playing a new formation, had new players, and it was our first real match together. Now that is all behind us, and with a full squad, tomorrow night’s game will give me a chance to look at a few players in new positions.”
So what is the goal for tomorrow’s match up? “We want to find those 11 players that will give us the best opportunity to win our first league game this weekend. I am very encouraged now that I have my full team together,” said Litton.
The Torrent will use Wednesday night’s matchup as final warm-up for their season opener. They will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday for their first WPSL conference match. Torrent history will be made when they kickoff at 3pm at Seafoam Stadium.
After a whirlwind start to the season, the Milwaukee Torrent Men were blessed with a break in the action this week. The Torrent will travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday. It will be their first action since pulling even against FC Columbus.
For the Torrent, the season has begun with seven matches (four friendlies and three in conference) in a little over 3 weeks. It has been a test for them on playing through the bonding process. But over the last few weeks, they have been able to maintain a fairly consistent lineup.
Kalamazoo FC is coming off a 5-0 rout over Indiana FC last week at home. The home team pressured Indiana, controlling much of the action. KZFC would score their first two goals off set pieces from the corner. Defensively, outside back, Carson Brinks would play a pivotal role in gaining Beau Prey the clean sheet.
When the Torrent travels to Michigan on Sunday, it will be their second consecutive road matchup. Last time out it was a free kick goal by Captain Drew Ruggles that brought the Torrent back to level for the second time in the match.
“It was great to help get the equalizer in such a hard fought game by the guys,” explains Ruggles. “Everyone showed a lot of character to draw level twice on the evening.”
The Torrent will look to shut down the Kalamazoo offense. KZFC showed the ability to score by making well timed runs, as well as finding great success off set pieces. If the Torrent wish to bring back three points, they will have to be more diligent in their backline, as well as look to create quality chances in the final third.
Unavailable for Sunday’s match will be: Drew Ruggles, Mark Hutchinson, Hector Portillo, Michael Da-Silva, and Andy Davi
The highest level of any women’s sport in the state of Wisconsin belongs to the Milwaukee Torrent. The Torrent women will make their preseason debut on Monday evening, May 14 when they take on North Shore United. Kickoff is set for 8pm at Hart Park Stadium.
Many of the Torrent women began practice about two weeks ago. A majority of the team comes from division one universities, or college programs that are still in spring season. Because of this, many of the players have not been able to participate in practice, making the task of preparation tough on the coaching staff.
“It’s tough to gauge what Monday will bring for us,” explains Head Coach Mark Litton.
Chemistry is always a big factor for a soccer team, so look for the Torrent to work on learning each other’s styles of play and how they can come together both offensively and defensively.
Being a first year team, preparing for matches against the other conference teams can be a bit of a challenge. Robyn Elliott has taken a positive look on the matter.
“We aren’t familiar to anyone else in the league either. We can use that to our benefit.”
As for the team, and how ready they are for what’s to come, Mariah Downs explains, “Every single player on the team brings something unique and special. That’s why I get so excited, even for practices. I can’t wait for games.”
The Torrent women are looking forward to familiarizing themselves with the fans in southeastern Wisconsin. Young women growing up in the area have been able to hang their hat on having great collegiate careers, but have never been able to ascertain the idea of continuing to play after graduation. That is until now.
As Monday’s match draws closer, the players themselves are starting to feel what the buzz in Milwaukee is all about. The Torrent women have the opportunity to become a team that is looked up to by many young athletes. The idea of growing the sport’s popularity amongst the younger generations is very exciting for the Torrent players.
“Excited is an understatement,” expresses Mary Beth Sullivan. “Women’s soccer is growing rapidly and this team has the potential to have such a positive impact on the younger generation, especially young female athletes. Being part of a women’s team in the community that young girls can look up to and model themselves after is exciting, and it’s only going to get better as the season progresses.”
The Torrent will take to the road for the first time this season. Sunday, they travel to Columbus, Ohio for their first ever meeting against FC Columbus. Kickoff is set for 2pm at Grandview Heights High School. This will be the Torrent’s second match in three days, coming on the heels of a 0:0 draw against Grand Rapids at home.
After struggling in preseason to build chemistry, they have begun to come together as a team. After two home matches to start the season, the Torrent will now take to the road. We recently asked Torrent forward, Andrew Wiedabach if early season road trips help with this.
“An early road trip can help with a lot of things. It will be good to see how our team can come together on the road in a tough environment. Some of us have been together on the road for a while now, but we have a lot of new players, so getting that chance to talk with those I haven’t had much time with will be great for the team’s chemistry.”
Sunday’s match marks the first for FC Columbus in the NPSL. After winning their first two contests of the preseason against Ohio Dominican University (3-1) and Cleveland SC (3-2), FC Columbus lost two matches at home; a 2-3 loss to Cleveland SC followed by a 0-1 shutout to the Dayton Dutch Lions.
Although FC Columbus is a new team to the Great Lakes Conference, Paris Martins explains how the Torrent will prepare for the match.
“You prepare like you would for any other team. Eat healthy, rest, and mentally prepare yourself for a battle. This is the NPSL. First year or not, every team is going to give you a challenge.”
For the second season in a row, the Milwaukee Torrent opens their conference season at home against the Mighty Oaks of Ann Arbor. Kickoff is set for 6pm on Saturday, May 5 at Hart Park Stadium in Wauwatosa. The Milwaukee Torrent looks to return to their 2016 conference championship form, while Ann Arbor hopes to continue their successes from last season.
In a physical matchup a year ago, the Torrent fell 1:3 at home before drawing even on the road against the Mighty Oak. Kyle Breitmeyer and Yuri Farkas, each with a goal a year ago for Ann Arbor in Milwaukee, return to try and spoil the Torrent home opener again. However they will be dealing with a newly revamped Torrent backline.
Elvis Barclay, Hector Portillo and Sam Biek will flank Stuart Grable in front of Torrent goal keepers, Agustin Rey and Toney Anderson. Anderson has shown well in his preseason work, playing in matches against Marquette and Elmbrook United. Rey, who comes to the Torrent from Fresno FC of the USL, has been nothing but consistent in net.
“Rey has already raised the overall confidence level of the team in a short period of time,” states Torrent assistant coach, Mark Litton. “The team trusts him. He’s a professional. As a goal keeper coach, I am blessed to have two guys like this. I don’t have to push them to improve; they push themselves, and each other.”
The Torrent will open the 2018 season with some familiar faces in the midfield. Isaac Pereyra, Tony Patterson, Nemanja Medic and Andrew Wiedabach all return for another season with the team. They will be joined by the speedy and versatile abilities of Till Lammertz, Mikey Mayberry and Paris Martins. Martins and Mayberry both played last season with the Muskegon Risers, and Lammertz comes to the US after playing with a U19 club in Germany.
Up top the Torrent look for production and creativity from veteran Mark Hutchinson and new comers Michael Da-Silva, Abe Kanneh, and Alex Stojanovski. Hutchinson was voted player of the year for the Torrent a year ago, and looks to continue to build off that performance. Da-Silva comes to the Torrent after spending the winter playing with the Milwaukee Wave of the MASL. Stojanovski played last year with FC Lokomotiva in Macedonia. And Kanneh joins the team after playing for Aurora Borealis SC. Together the group will be looking to quickly build chemistry and creativity in the final third.
“I feel like every time we step on the field together, things get better and better,” says Da-Silva. “Hutchinson and I have been able to link up more consistently as the preseason has gone on. Our chemistry has really been coming together.”
Captaining the team will be midfielder, Drew Ruggles. Ruggles has been a staple for the Torrent for all three years of the team’s existence. He not only brings size and quickness to the middle of the field, but he brings veteran leadership. “I look to grow this season as an all-around player and leader. I want to be more consistent in my game; quality of passes, and over-all game management,” explains Ruggles.
Due to red cards that carry over from the conclusion of last season, the Torrent will be without head coach Andy Davi, Captain Drew Ruggles, and midfielders Andrew Wiedabach and Isaac Pereyra for the match against Ann Arbor. It’s nearly impossible to replace the veteran leadership and talent that will be unavailable for Saturday’s matchup, but Coach Davi and his staff have assembled a roster that is deep in talent, from both a technical, as well as tactical side.
With the start of any season, there is always excitement, anticipation, and the goal of achieving great things. With the 2018 Milwaukee Torrent, these feelings and emotions are expressed both on and off the field since the first day of practice. This year’s Torrent squad is hungry and determined to get back to where they were two seasons ago; Conference Champions.
The Milwaukee Torrent will close out their 2018 preseason schedule on Wednesday evening in a rematch against the Elmbrook United U23 squad. The Torrent look to bounce back from their Sunday defeat against Marquette with a solid effort against a team they won against on Friday night in a very cold rain. Kickoff is set for 8pm at Hart Park Stadium.
Elmbrook United hung tough against the Torrent last week, but ran out of gas in the second half. They looked to press the Torrent early and often in a match that remained scoreless until a goal by Andrew Wiedabach in the 42 minute. Milwaukee maintained much of the possession in the first half while looking to move the ball forward down the wings.
Elmbrook fought back early in the second half, forcing goalkeeper Agustin Rey to make big save after big save in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half. But the Torrent would prevail with an 8:1 rain soaked win.
In Wednesday evenings match up, the Torrent coaching staff will look to build chemistry and fine tune some things ahead of Saturday afternoons season opener. The final preseason match is always a tough one for players and coaches. Everyone wants to continue to improve and condition themselves, but no one wants to see a player injured with little recovery time before the season.
“We will continue to build chemistry amongst our players,” expressed Coach Davi.
Look for the potential season starters to get minutes together, but the coaching staff is still evaluating talent and how they bond on the field.
After drawing at home last Sunday, the Milwaukee Torrent men’s squad looks to build their team chemistry with a pair of matches this weekend. They begin on Friday night at 7pm with a home match at Hart Park Stadium against Elmbrook United U23. That will be followed up by a Sunday trip to Valley Fields Dome on the Marquette University campus. Kickoff is set for noon on Sunday.
The Torrent will be welcoming newcomers Hector Portillo and Abe Kanneh to the roster this weekend. Both were recently signed off the tryout list and each saw second half action against UW-Parkside. Torrent staff look for tactical knowledge, as well as technical skill, and both players have demonstrated this since the late March tryouts.
"When I am on the field, it is 200% effort all the time," states Portillo, who looks to bring a consistently high level of intensity to the team.
"I bring a high level of physicality to the team," says Kanneh. "I have played the attacking midfielder and striker role in the past and look forward to bringing my talents to the Torrent."
Earlier in the week it looked as though the Torrent would be without Goal Keeper, Agustin Rey who suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the match against UW-Parkside, all weekend.
"The ankle is doing great," describes Rey. "It's getting better every day. Thanks to Ryan (Koeberl, team athletic trainer) I'm recovering and getting stronger, faster than I thought." Rey did see action on the practice field Thursday night and had little complaints about the ankle and how it affected training.
Milwaukee will be a little thin at the defensive position this weekend. Right back, Elvis Barclay, who made a solid debut against Parkside, teaming up well with fellow defensemen Stuart Grable and Samuel Biek, will be graduating from Columbia College. Trevor Johnson has not yet been medically cleared to take the field.
Up top the Torrent look to build chemistry. With only forward, Mike Mayberry (graduating from Columbia College as well) not yet joining the team, the group is looking to bond and create better quality chances in the two games this weekend. Last weekend's match and a full week of outdoor practices this week should do the team well.
On Sunday the Torrent take on a formidable opponent in the Marquette Golden Eagles. Most recently the Golden Eagles drew even 1:1 against Cardinal Stritch before prevailing 4:1 in a match up against Northern Michigan.
“They have great ball skills,” says attacker Michael Da-Silva. “They have some really great players on their squad that we have to watch out for. Top to bottom they are all technically sound.”
The Milwaukee Torrent men’s team opens their 2018 friendly schedule with a match on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Kickoff is at 3pm. Their first match of the season will take place at Hart Park Stadium against the visiting UW-Parkside Rangers. After a few highly usual, late spring snow storms, both teams will look to stretch their legs and test their off-season endurance trainings by hitting the outdoor pitch.
The Rangers visit the Torrent looking to improve on their 5-9-2 overall record from a year ago. UW-Parkside managed to outscore their opponents 29-25 and will look to test the Torrent defense on Sunday.
In a recent match-up with Marquette University, the Rangers defense played rather stingy in their back third, holding the Golden Eagles to two goals. They got on the score sheet with a goal in the 80th minute on a shot from the top of the box.
Agustin Rey will get the start on Sunday. Rey, a graduate of UW-Milwaukee in 2015, most recently played for Fresno FC in the USL. Toney Anderson is also expected to see some time in net on Sunday. Anderson spent 2017 with UW-Whitewater, where he made 21 saves in 7 matches, finished the season 2-0-1, and had one solo clean sheet and two shared.
The Torrent look to improve defensively in 2018. Led by team captain, Drew Ruggles in the midfield, the Torrent will form a wall in front of Rey with veteran Stuart Grable and newcomers Elvis Barclay and Samuel Biek.
"We scored in all but one match last season, but we also only had one clean sheet. We will improve that this season through communication, teamwork and holding ourselves accountable," states Head Coach, Andi Davi.