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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
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I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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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 — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

NMU soccer ‘headed’ to offseason

On Nov. 4, Northern Michigan University lost 2-0 against the Ferris State Bulldogs in Big Rapids, Mich., signaling an end to the 2008 season.

“I am sad the season is over. We worked so hard,” said senior defender Meghan Sarna. “I wish we could have gone further in the conference tournament. I think we played as best as we could.”

Even with the early exit from the postseason, the Wildcats ended with a 11-9-1 overall record, extending the streak of winning seasons to six. NMU’s last losing season was in 2002 under head coach Carl Gregor when the team finished 7-12-1.

“I think it would be an injustice to, in any way, say that we didn’t have a great season,” said current head coach Matt Granstrand. “We played one of the toughest schedules in the country and competed well.”

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Northern won this season through their defense, by finishing second in both goals and shutouts, behind Division II juggernaut Grand Valley State University. GVSU hasn’t lost a conference game since September 2006.

NMU did have some individual players recognized by the conference for seasons. Sarna was named to the All-GLIAC First Team. Of the 11 players given recognition, conference champions GVSU had nine players honored. The other spot was given to midfielder Stephanie Roy of Saginaw Valley.

“I was really shocked,” said Sarna. “Back home, we don’t really have all-star teams that are picked by coaches, so it is a real honor to be recognized by the conference.”

Senior midfielder Brittney Buchanan and sophomore Kari Buckel were named to the All-GLIAC second team.

In conference play, NMU alternated between two sets of three game losing streaks and winning streaks until the last two games of the regular season ended in a tie against Tiffin, and a win against Ashland.

Bright spots on the season are overtime road wins against Findlay and Northwood and new goalie records set by Kara Music

“We couldn’t seem to catch a break sometimes and that certainly tested our character,” said Granstrand. “When we reflect on the season though, I think it was the best soccer I have watched since being at Northern and I think that is reflected in our top ten regional ranking.”

NMU finished ninth in the Midwest Region this year. To make the NCAA championship bracket, NMU needed to finish in the top six.

Northern will say goodbye to five of their seniors this year. Captains Sarna and Buchanan are joined by forward Casey Wilcox, and midfielders Abbie Debiak and Michaela Harris.

“They took the chance and joined (the team) and helped make the program what it is today: a program that is always regionally ranked and can play anyone in the country,” said Granstrand. “It is a very special group to me.”

Next year’s team will be led by the third and only returning captain, Emily Lockery.

“It is going to be difficult returning without Buchanan and Sarna,” Lockery said. “But expect us to come back just as strong next year.”

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