UW-Milwaukee football player scores at kick-off, sets NCAA record


As her team’s game was about to begin Sunday, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee soccer player Jelena Sever made eye contact with Panthers coach Troy Fabiano on the sidelines.

“I watched the roster of the other team where the goalkeeper was standing, and my first thought was that we just weren’t going to try that half-court today,” said Sever. “I hear my coach screaming my name, and I look over it and he tilts his head very subtly, and I just looked again and thought, ‘OK, she’s pretty far away. “I just went for it.”

Sever opened the game against Youngstown State with a crazy bang. Instead of a typical kick-off given to a teammate, she threw a ball towards the net, over the head of goalkeeper Mackenzie Simon. He jumped off the turf at Engelmann Stadium and in 3.2 seconds for the fastest goal in NCAA history, eclipsing the 4 seconds it took Purdue’s Sylvia Forbes to score in 2009 and Yael Averbuch of North Carolina in 2006.

UWM communications director Chris Zills said it was the first time he saw the maneuver even attempted in his 17 years watching home games and believes the program has tried once without success on the road.

Sever’s outburst quickly went viral, reaching number 4 on ESPN’s best game rankings.

“I would say it’s really overwhelming,” Sever said. “I just dealt with it all day. I didn’t even know it was exploding so much until I hit social media; I’ve never seen so many notifications on my phone. Family members, friends, all of me ‘send SMS.

“It’s cool to put us on the map, but I don’t see it too much as a personal thing. The fact that we won, 7-0, is even bigger.”

It’s not just a 7-0 win either. The Panthers (9-1), a program that has won 19 of the last 21 Horizon League regular season titles, won by a 7-0 tally for the second game in a row, replicating the feat accomplished three days earlier in Cleveland State. This is four straight league wins for UWM since suffering their only loss of the year, a 2-1 overtime loss to Wisconsin.

Sever said she had experienced the long kick-offs in practice. He figures the program would find new ways to score; On Monday, the Panthers led the country in goals (4.2 per game), assists (5.4) and points (13.8).

Sever, who also scored 47 seconds in a game on August 27 for what was then the fifth fastest goal in program history, was named Horizon League Player of the Week for the fifth time in her career. September 7, with two victories. goals in this stretch. With seven goals, she is one of three players, joining Lesley Kiesling (8) and Mackenzie Schill (7), who already have seven goals in the first 10 matches.

It’s also an unusual season, which comes right after the 2020 season has been moved to an abbreviated spring schedule.

“It’s almost weird to go back to playing two games in a row like this,” said Sever, a Franklin native who attended Greendale High School. “It’s heavy on your legs; we just got back from cleveland, on a long bus ride, and got right back into things. “

From a long bus ride to the quickest strikes. Zills said the Panthers tried to stop the clock as quickly as possible, but initially believed she tied the 4-second record.

“We tweeted it and some people in the know were saying if that was checked at 4 seconds it would equal the NCAA record for fastest goal,” Zills said. “At half-time we looked at it and got out of the stopwatches, started watching the video to see if it was four or three. Everyone at half-time was saying, it’s 3.2, 3 , 3 seconds maximum. “

There is no record of a faster goal on any level of men’s or women’s college football. On Tuesday morning, the photo was viewed nearly 22,000 times on the UW-Milwaukee Football Instagram Page and approaching 600,000 times over ESPN Instagram page.

JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.