Granstrand confident team will succeed

Rebecca Morstad

The NMU soccer team had a two-game weekend, losing both home games. The first game at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 was against Michigan Tech.  Freshmen Caroline Glantz and Alexandra Simmons each had three saves as goalkeepers for NMU. Simmons only allowed one goal during her 31 minutes of playtime.

Northern Michigan University sophomore mid fielder Gabriella Garza (27) goes in for the kick vs. Memidji State University freshman forward Bayley Ertl (9) (Photo: Anthony Viola)
Northern Michigan University sophomore mid fielder Gabriella Garza (27) goes in for the kick vs. Memidji State University freshman forward Bayley Ertl (9) (Photo: Anthony Viola)

Head coach Matt Granstrand said he really enjoys the team that he coaches and is proud of the hard work they’ve put in.

“I wouldn’t trade any of these young ladies,” Granstrand said. “It has actually been an honor to be associated with them. This is the best group I have been associated with in many years.”

Junior Tevun Sellers led NMU offensively with two shots on goal, while freshman Paula Hafner and sophomore Ashley Katers each added one shot.

The Huskies offense put in five goals to defeat the Wildcats 5-0.

It took just over two minutes for Tech to get on the board when Alyssa Hynnek scored the first goal of the game for the Huskies. Hynnek picked up a loose ball to score the goal unassisted.

Just before halftime, Lindsey Van Rooy added the second goal of the game for the Huskies with an assist by Haley Crites. During the second half, Mackenzie Jordan and Kathryn Fife each added one unassisted goal for the Huskies. Katie Pappas added the fifth goal, assisted by Katie Boardman.

NMU finished with only seven shots on goal, while Michigan Tech had 17.

Hafner said the team found some difficulties on the field with the weather.

“The game against Tech was difficult because of the weather,” said Hafner. “We conceded a few goals because we couldn’t judge the ball. Generally, the last few games we’ve just had troubles scoring. We create the chances but for some reason, we simply can’t score.”

Tech was 2-1-0 after their victory over NMU, then lost to Bemidji State Saturday, Sept. 14, leaving them with a record of 2-2-0.

The second game of the week for the Wildcats was against Bemidji State on Sunday, Sept. 15. The ’Cats lost 3-1.

Freshman Carmen Villarruel led the Wildcats offensively. She scored one goal off a corner kick by freshman Paula Hafner.

Caroline Glantz said Hafner was involved in every attack and every chance the ’Cats got.

Hafner had three attempted shots and one assist.

“[In the Bemidji game] we created a lot more chances and were, in the end, finally rewarded with a goal,” Hafner said. “I think we deserved more though as we dominated the entire game, but it felt good to finally score, and I hope that this is the start to a positive trend.”

Simmons played the full 90 minutes as goalkeeper against Bemidji. She saved three of the six shots on goal.

Bemidji State scored all three of its goals in the first half, beginning with Mary O’Brien 13 minutes into the game, off an assist by Jessie Voeller.

Defensively, Bemidji was led by goalkeeper Sonja Barr. She has helped lead Bemidji to their current 4-0 record.

Granstrand said he  believes that his team is headed in the right direction.

“On and off of the field, we are doing things the right way,” Granstrand said. “Soon enough breaks will start to come.”

Northern Michigan University is now 0-5-0 overall. They have yet to play their first conference game.

They will have the chance to turn their season around versus Lake Erie at noon Sunday, Sept. 22 at home.

“I have complete faith in my team,” Granstrand said, “I believe we will keep working hard until things start breaking our way!”