Soccer team feeling optimistic after inauspicious start to season

Julie Goldberg

The Northern Michigan University women’s soccer team will be traveling to Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University on Friday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 18 for a pair of of conference games.

The Wildcats beat Findlay University 2-0 on Friday, Oct. 9 with goals from junior midfielder Wynona Maravilla and freshman defenseman Raven Mitchell

“Our defense has been playing great all season and it feels great to finally get some goals and some wins for them,” Maravilla said.

Junior keeper Alexandra Simmons had five saves for the ’Cats.

The Wildcats played Tiffin University on Sunday, Oct. 11 and won 3-1. Maravilla scored along with freshman forward/midfielder Aimee Colla, and sophomore defenseman Helen Kiilunen for NMU. Simmons had seven saves in the victory.

“I thought we played well this past weekend,” head coach Matt Granstrand said. “We’re starting to have success after coming up on the short end earlier in the year. It certainly helps with confidence and is a credit to the team for working through the bad breaks we were getting in the beginning.”

The Ferris State Bulldogs are 11-2-1 for the season and 7-0-1 in the GLIAC Conference. The Bulldogs have not lost a match since Sept. 6.

The Bulldogs have senior forward Nichole Boehnke leading their offense. Boehnke has scored six goals for the Bulldogs this season. Junior defenseman Meredith Smith has recorded four goals and five assists for the Bulldogs this season.

Bulldog senior keeper Maddie Haustein has a save percentage of .901 for the season with 91 saves and has recorded six shutouts for the Bulldogs.

The Wildcats beat the Bulldogs 1-0 in overtime last season with sophomore midfielder/forward Paula Hafner scoring the lone goal for the ‘Cats.

The Grand Valley State Lakers have a record of 12-1 for the season. The Lakers have won 12 straight matches and have outscored opponents 59-7 on the season.

Leading the Lakers this season is junior midfielder Marti Corby, who has recorded 15 goals and seven assists. Last season, the Wildcats lost to the Lakers 1-0 and outshot the Wildcats 18-3 in that match.

“For this upcoming weekend’s games, nothing really changes,” Granstrand said. “We train hard and prepare to hit the road again and will come out ready to battle.”

Maravilla and the rest of the team are excited for the rest of the season and everything they have to look forward to.

“We are ready to keep winning games,” Maravilla said. “The GLIAC is a tough conference, but any team has the potential to win any game. We finish conference in a few weeks, so we need to make sure to finish strong in order to advance.”