NMU looks to bounce back after roadtrip

Karly Ratzenberger

The NMU women’s soccer team took too the road last weekend, but couldn’t bring home a win.

On Friday, Sept. 5, the ’Cats were defeated by Northwood University, 1-2, and on Sunday, Sept. 7 by Saginaw Valley State University, 0-5.

Sophomore defensive player Cheyenne Cecchini said she thought the Wildcats could have done better in their weekend games.

“Obviously we are a young team so there are a lot of skills and techniques that need to improve,” Cecchini said. “I think we could have beaten both teams.”

Sophomore midfield/forward Kim Rietveld said the ’Cats played well in the second half of the first game, but the team couldn’t pull the trigger on scoring goals.

“We could have played better,” Rietveld said. “I don’t think we played as well as we could have in our game on Sunday, and the score shows that. I think we will get better in the games to come.”

Head coach Matt Granstrand said he thought the games could have gone better.

“I thought we had every opportunity to win the game on Friday,” Granstrand said. “On sunday we could not catch a break, which is kind of the theme for this season.”

In the Wildcat’s first game of the weekend, freshman goalkeeper Shelby Conard made four saves and freshman midfielder Gabriella Garza scored NMU’s only goal unassisted.

On Sunday, Conard made three saves and sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Musi made two saves. Cecchini said she has been playing better than earlier in the season due to her increased focus.

“I had a few distractions at the beginning of the year, but I am definitely playing better,” Cecchini said. “My head is here for the team now.”

Rietveld said she played well in the weekend’s games and she was happy with her personal performance.

“The only thing you can ask for is to give 100 percent and I think that is what I did,” Rietveld said. “I am proud of how the team did and how I did as well.”

Rietveld said the team worked on a new formation last week that may have helped the team in the weekend’s games.

“We played a 4-5-1 so we had to work on that because we had never used it before,” Rietveld said. “We worked on that and crossing the ball and headers, corners, stuff like that.”

Cecchini said senior forward Amelia Johnson and Rietveld both played very well in the games.

“Emmy was phenomenal and Kim, as always was the bulldog,” Cecchini said.

Rietveld said the whole team played well, but a few players in particular stood out to her.

“Gabby in the middle is a freshman and she is playing really well,” Rietveld said. “Cheyenne did awesome in the back as well, but everyone played well.”

Cecchini said the team just needs to keep their heads up and stay positive in the coming week.

“I know that we can beat teams as long as we have trust in each other and work hard at practice,” Cecchini said.
Rietveld said the team needs to move forward from the tough losses last weekend.

“It is hard to lose, but we are a young team and we will just get better from here,” Rietveld said.

The Wildcats will host two home games this weekend. At 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 the ’Cats will square off with Ohio Dominican University.

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 the team will take on Ashland University.