The men’s club soccer team opened their season up with a big 4-1 win over rival Michigan Tech last Saturday, Sept. 4.
“Tech was (tough) as usual and we were expecting a tough game,” striker Kevin Kean said. “We tried to keep the ball on the ground and made crisp passes and it all came out our way.”
The game was scoreless for most of the first half. Midfielder Paul Ewbank broke the tie in the 43rd minute as he capitalized on a throw in.
“We had a throw in on the left-hand side of the field,” Ewbank said. “He threw it in hard and it got flicked on (goal). I saw it and I cut in and (the ball) laid down nicely for me.”
There was a momentum shift after the goal in favor of Northern after the first half.
“We really hadn’t had a lot of (scoring) opportunities in the first half and (the goal) really got us motivated going into halftime,” captain and midfielder Dale Dexter said.
The second half started as slowly as the first, but as the first game jitters started to calm, the team’s offenses started to improve. The Huskies were able to find the back of the net in the 74th minute to tie the game at 1-1.
“They chipped it right over the defense and ran onto it,” defenseman Justin Key said. “There was about three or four that came down at us, but just one got behind us for a breakaway on the goalie.”
Northern responded quickly and powerfully, as they regained the lead five minutes later as striker Kevin Kean was able to capitalize on a corner kick opportunity.
“The corner kick came in and I made a near post run and flicked (the ball) under my leg,” Kean said. “I nailed it in the back post.”
NMU finished off the game with two more goals in the final 10 minutes, as strikers Ian Beadows scored in the 84th minute and Eric Larson in the 88th minute for the 4-1 final.
The Wildcats will now prepare for their first weekend series of the year, as they will play the UW-Lacrosse Eagles on Saturday and the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds on Sunday. The games will be influential in the regional rankings as last year, the Wildcats, Eagles and Blugolds went 2-3-4 in the Great Lakes Division with NMU tying both teams.
“We’re going to practice real hard this week, probably harder than last week,” Dexter said. “We will really work on possession of the ball and will try to control the game.”