Forward Madison FC finished off its preseason slate with a convincing 3-0 win over the Blue Demons of DePaul University at Breese Stevens Field on Saturday.
With about 100 season ticket holders in attendance, Jayden Onen, Derek Gebhard and a trialist notched goals and Bernd Schipmann gathered three saves to keep the clean sheet.
Onen’s goal came in just the third minute, a chip over the keeper into the upper corner.
“I knew off my foot it was gonna go in,” Onen said after the match. “I’m just happy to get my first goal for the club. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”
Gebhard, the only player in his third year with the club, scored in the 42nd minute, taking a long ball forward from central defender Sam Brotherton, dribbling past one defender and finishing with a low shot to double the Mingos’ lead.
One of five trialists who took the field in the second half tapped in a rebound off a corner kick to round out the scoring in the 70th.
Head coach Matt Glaeser said after the match that it was good to get a win, even over a college side.
“We talked about setting a winning habit here this year,” he said. “Lots to work on and to improve. Gotta continue to get our fitness up. Building the cohesion on the attacking side of the ball. I was really pleased with our defensive habits, but just continuing to work on the things we’ve been working on and being consistent.”
“It was great to see some of the fans out here today,” Gebhard said. “Great to get a win on the home field as well today. Great to get that winning mindset started. Very excited for this year.”
Forward Madison’s USL League One season gets underway at Union Omaha on March 26. Its first home match is set for April 4, when the team will take on either Chicago House or Milwaukee Bavarians in the second round of the US Open Cup. Madison’s USL League One home opener comes April 15, when they host Greenville Triumph.
The club finished the 2022 season in ninth place in the league, which sits at the third tier of the United States soccer pyramid. The club will play 33 matches in its fifth season, with the top six of the 12 teams in the league advancing to the playoffs.