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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Season is serious business for team

Often misconstrued as just an extracurricular activity to play for fun, NMU club sports are much more. The women’s club soccer team is just as dedicated as any other team, and is already training hard for the upcoming season.

“We do a lot of conditioning right now, and we’re learning new formations,” said president of women’s club soccer, junior Lana Bannow.

Practicing three to four times a week and traveling almost every weekend, club soccer requires hard work and dedication.

Although club sports might seem like just a fun thing to do in addition to the tough work of a college education, vice president and junior Kayla Knoll said they require a lot of time, effort and money as well.

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“Commitment is huge, because with nobody wanting to come to the U.P. due to the distance, it’s that much more traveling and dedication every weekend,” Knoll said.

One thing that makes clubs a lot different from varsity sports is that athletes must pay to play. The women’s club team pays $200 for the season. This fee covers things like uniforms, hotels on road trips and referees for the games.

With club soccer not being funded directly by the school, Knoll said it makes things difficult for players to continue year after year.

“We lost players to money, commitment and time,” she said.

Even though the team is very competitive, Knoll said it is about having fun at the same time. As with any sport played, championships are great to win and records are fun to break, but the memories the teammates share are what will last forever.

“I love hanging out with the girls, doing everything together on the weekends and just playing soccer,” Knoll said.

With only one week of practice under their belts, Robbins said the athletes are still trying to get a feel for how they play together on the field.

“I’m looking forward to seeing where everyone fits best and what groups of girls really work well together on the field. Chemistry is what makes plays happen,” Robbins said.

Last year the team had a winning record at 6-4 overall (5-1 Great Lakes Division, Women’s Midwest Athletic Conference) and qualified for regional playoffs, only to be cut short by weather conditions.

Along with new formations, the ‘Cats also have some new faces in the roster. Bannow said more than 10 freshmen are expected to join the team.

“This year we have a whole new team and also a whole new squad, so I think we have a chance to compete with the bigger teams,” Bannow said.

Sophomore Kelly Robbins said she is looking forward to working with the new roster.

“We pretty much started over with girls, and I’m really excited to see how we mesh,” she said.

Bannow said some of the teams the Wildcats will face within their challenging lineup are Ohio State University, Bowling Green, Marquette University, DePaul University and their Upper Peninsula rival, Michigan Tech

“I’m really looking forward to playing Marquette University because they’ve always been a really dominant team, and they’ve always beat us,” Bannow said.

The team is looking forward to the season and can’t wait to kick it off on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 3 p.m. against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames at the outdoor fields. On Sunday, Sept. 5, the ’Cats will square off against Michigan Tech Huskies at the same time and location.

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