NMU’s soccer team ended their season on Nov. 6 with a devastating 9-1 loss to Grand Valley State University in the GLIAC championship semifinal game.
“I’ve never lost a game that bad, whether here at Northern or before here. They took it to us,” said senior midfielder Emily Lockery. “It’s not an ideal way to lose.”
Lockery scored the only goal for the Wildcats on a penalty kick at the end of the first half.
The Lakers (18-0-2) got out to a fast start as they scored their first goal just 1:18 into the game, and had three goals in the first ten minutes.
The score was already 6-0 when Lockery put the ball in the net at 44:43. Grand Valley outshot Northern 20-6 in the contest.
The ‘Cats were led defensively by senior goalie Kara Music with five saves.
“I was really upset for a long time,” said Music. “It was hard to say 9-1 is respectable.”
The semifinal loss to the eventual GLIAC champs was the worst loss this season for the 10-9-1 Wildcats. NMU head coach Matt Granstrand was very proud of his team and optimistic for the future.
“I think we had a fantastic season,” said Granstrand. “In the three years we have had a conference tournament, we have made the semis twice and the quarterfinals once. I expect us to continue in the direction that we have been going.”
In recognition for their input on the season, three Wildcat players were named to the all-GLIAC second team. Junior forward Dana Stephens led the Wildcats in scoring this year with 12 goals and two assists.
Stephens was fourth in the GLIAC with 0.6 goals per game and tied with Ashley Botts of Grand Valley for the most game winning goals. Both players have six.
Freshman Becky Schmidt was one of four defensemen named to the second team, along with players from Findlay, SVSU, and GVSU. Schmidt helped lead the Wildcats to five shutouts throughout the season. NMU was ranked third in shutouts, behind Grand Valley and Saginaw Valley.
Music was the final Wildcat to be named to the second team. She had 120 saves this season, which was the second most saves by a GLIAC keeper.
Music also was fourth for saves per game (6.00) and had a .769 save percentage for the season.
Music is also the Wildcat record holder for career shutouts (21), goal against average (1.17) and saves (393).
“It makes me feel really good,” said Music. “It is my first conference award since my freshman year, so it felt good to end on that.”
The remaining members of the team will wait nine days before starting training for the 2010 season.