NMU soccer splits

joe.dexter

The Northern Michigan University soccer team split another series over homecoming weekend, winning 2-0 over University of Findlay, but falling to GLIAC newcomer Tiffin University in overtime 1-0.

The victory over the Findlay Oilers gave NMU its first three-game winning streak this season. Forward Kari Buckel scored both goals, unassisted for the first goal five minutes into the second half, and with the help of forward Dana Stephens for the second in the 59 minute.

This game was the first time all season that the ‘Cats were able to score more than one goal in the second half. Buckel is leading NMU in goals scored, with seven. Casey Wilcox and Brittney Buchanan are tied in second with two goals each.

However, none of the Wildcats were able to put the ball into the net against the No. 25 Tiffin Dragons on Sunday. Through a very physical game, the scoreboard was still empty. A lucky bounce off the crossbar was all it took for the Dragons to end the game, 1:47 into overtime.

“Another 1-0 loss and I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said head coach Matt Granstrand. “This was another typical GLIAC game where we had a 50-50 shot of winning it.”

However there were general complaints about the way the game was played from the Wildcats’ bench and stands. Players and coaches were frustrated with the lack of calls after the physical style of play from Tiffin.

“The refs did not have control of this game,” Granstrand said. “When the refs don’t have control of the game, the game becomes physical and it becomes dirty and we don’t play that way.”

Tiffin has the most fouls by a team in the conference with 138 so far this season and fouled Northern more times than any other team. Tiffin received no cards in the game.

Instead of dwelling on the problems of the Tiffin game, the ‘Cats are looking ahead.

“We played well and we played strong. Just one unlucky play, a few unlucky calls, some wrong follow ups by the refs, and it didn’t go our way,” midfielder Emily Lockery said. “All we can do right now is look forward.”

Next up for the Wildcats is a road game against No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State University. NMU lost 1-0 at home earlier this season. However, this season the ‘Cats are undefeated on the road.

“It’s a great place to go to. A lot of our girls have family near there so we’ll have the same support that we do here,” Buchanan said. “When we play teams like [Grand Valley] we really step up our gam