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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

Offensive explosion propels Wildcats

The NMU soccer team played two very different games over the weekend.

In the first, the ‘Cats filled the goal column, as they downed Northwood 6-0 on Saturday

In the second, the women battled through a defensive contest against Saginaw Valley State (SVSU) and came away with a 1-1 tie.

Each game showed the team’s depth, both defensively and offensively.

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“We played really well as a team and when we have a good game it leads into the next,” said sweeper Meghan Sarna.

The ‘Cats dominated the first game against Northwood in a 6-0 victory on Saturday and tied Saginaw Valley, 1-1, on Sunday.

In Saturday’s game against Northwood, Northern dominated the game, with goals coming from Amanda Gadomski, Renee LeBlanc, Brittney Buchanan (2), Michaela Harris and Jami Beebe and assists from LeBlanc and Celia Sturos.

On Sunday against SVSU, the lone goal came from Casey Wilcox.

“Saginaw was a really tough team, so it was nice to come out with at least a tie,” Wilcox said. “But we would have loved to win.”

SVSU has a 4-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (GLIAC).

“You take your lumps,” said head coach Matt Granstrand. “Saginaw scored on us and (last week) Winona beat us, but we are much better than we would have been if we didn’t play these teams.”

These games gave Northern a 5-2-2 overall record, while they are 1-1-2 in the GLIAC.

“Statistically we out-played them and just watching the game, I think we out-played them,” Granstrand said. “We beat them last year, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you we out-played them last year.”

Northern out-shot the Cardinals 17-13 for the game and 8-5 in corner kicks. Northern’s keeper Kara Music stopped five Cardinal shots on the day.

“She always says she wants a shutout and she usually gets one,” Sarna said.

Music, along with the rest of the Wildcat defense, knows that defense is important to the team’s overall success.

“I don’t score goals, but when we have a shutout it’s kind of the same thing,” Sarna said.

The importance of defense has been highlighted this year and every game that the Wildcats have won this season has come in the form of a shutout.

“I always feel really confident in our defenders. I always know they are going to get the ball out,” Wilcox said.

Coach Granstrand starts his offense with his defense, he said, and he knows that if the team cannot control the ball in the back that it is going to be a tough game.

“We have knowledge of the game and we are the play makers of the team,” Sarna said.

Improvement is a season-long process, Granstrand said, but added that the ‘Cats have improved every week.

“We’ve gotten better with our outside midfielders. We have gotten better with our forwards and our defense is always solid,” Granstrand said.

The defense, along with the rest of the team, will have to make some plays on the road this weekend as the Wildcats travel to Erie, Penn., where they will take on Gannon University on Friday and Mercyhurst on Sunday.

The Wildcats have never beat Mercyhurst and won’t use the 14-hour road trip as an excuse when they play over the weekend.

“It’s just another day at the office,” Granstrand said. “It’s a long day but we are very used to it and it’s business and we’re going to take care of business.”

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