Soccer Cats earn win, tie on road still unbeaten at top of the GLIAC

Jon Young

The NMU women’s varsity soccer team kept their undefeated record in place this weekend, coming away with a win and a tie. On Friday Oct. 1, the Wildcats (6-0-2 GLIAC, 6-0-4 overall) traveled to Painesville, Ohio to battle against the Lake Erie Storm (0-8 GLIAC, 2-8 overall). Northern left Lake Erie in search of their conference win, after taking a 4-2 victory against the hosts.

The ‘Cats came out aggressive and got the early lead against the Storm. Head coach Matt Granstrand said it was good to get the early lead, but the team didn’t keep their intensity level up after the goals.

“We started off brilliantly with a quick 2-0 lead, and then we shut down and we shouldn’t have shut down,” Granstrand said. “But I’ll take a win on the road.”

Sophomore forward Amelia Johnson got the ‘Cats on the board first at 3:24 with a 25-yard strike off the KC McCary assist. Senior forward Dana Stephens wasted no time adding another goal at 9:53 from the Missy Mohr assist. Lake Erie responded at 19:45 with a goal from Ally Miller. The ‘Cats Johnson responded back late in the first half after weaving through defense and scoring her second goal of the day at 42:55.

“We have a lot of people they need to shut down, and if they choose to shut down one the other one usually gets the goal,” Granstrand said. “Amelia had a great weekend; it’s good to see her back in the scoring column again.”

The Wildcats added to their lead in the second half when Stephens connected on her second goal of the day (eighth of the season) at 64:12. The ‘Cats dominated the ball control and had 27 shots, compared to Lake Erie’s eight. The Storm were able to sneak in a goal with under a minute left to play, but it was too late as Northern came away victorious 4-2.

On Sunday, Oct. 3 the Wildcats traveled to Ashland, Ohio to take on the Ashland University Eagles (1-5-2 GLIAC, 2-6-2 overall). The game ended in a 1-1 double overtime tie. The ‘Cats had to fight back in the second half after falling behind 1-0 at 37:27 off the Eagles’ goal. Granstrand thought his team could have performed better.

“I thought we came out real flat,” Granstrand said. “I think Jessica had a real great first half, otherwise we could’ve been down by more than one goal.”

The ‘Cats came out more aggressive in the second half and were able to tie the game up at 53:12 when Amelia Johnson found the back of the net off the Missy Mohr assist. The game went into two overtimes ending in a 1-1 tie. Players understand opposing teams are looking to knock off the ‘Cats.

“I definitely feel like we have a target on our back,” said sophomore goalie Jessica Baker. “Every game is going to be a battle, no matter what.”

The ‘Cats are at home this weekend as they host Findlay (4-3 in the GLIAC, 4-3-2 overall) on Friday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. and Tiffin (4-2-1 in the GLIAC, 5-3-1 overall) on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 12 p.m. Granstand understands his team has to show up to play.

“Findlay and Tiffin are this weekend, both quality teams, probably the two best in the (GLIAC) South Division,” Granstrand said. “We need to play better than we played this past weekend, and hopefully we can regain that, being at home.”