Women’s soccer team falls to Huskies

Trevor Drew

After falling to rival Michigan Tech 2-1 over the weekend, the women’s soccer team is now set to host their first conference matches of the season against defending National Champions Grand Valley State University next Friday and Ferris State University on Sunday.

re-womensoccer1-cdThe Wildcats gave up two goals in the first half, but did not give up anything to the Huskies for the remainder of the match. In the last few minutes of the final half, sophomore and Marquette native Casey Durand cast one last flash of hope for NMU after sending a long shot to the back of the net.

Cutting Tech’s lead by one, Durand’s goal opened a brief window of opportunity for the Lady Wildcats to send it into overtime. With only three minutes remaining in the game the ’Cats were unable to even up the score and fell to the rival squad.

“In the first half they just outplayed us by a long shot. We were not playing as a team and they were on the attack the entire first half,” junior midfielder Lindsey Tuggle said.

“In the second half, we kind of pulled ourselves together and it was a lot more evenly matched. But they were the better team in the first half and that’s when they got their goals.”

Head coach Matt Granstrand, who has since taken a leave of absence for the rest of the season, said that the Michigan Tech offense was able to use the wind to their advantage.

“It was one of those games where when you had the wind you were on the attack,” Granstrand said. “I think, honestly, [the wind] played the biggest role in the difference.”

With every game from here on out counting toward their conference record, Granstrand said there is no reason to be discouraged by past results since they play talented teams on purpose. Their conference record is the one they are more concerned with.

“Every nonconference team we play is good, and the whole point of it is to get ready for conference,” Granstrand said. “You want to play quality non-conference [teams]. And when you choose to do that, you might not have the results you want but I would rather go about it that way before conference than be 5-1 and have played nobody.”

Last season when Northern crossed paths with Grand Valley, the Lakers walked away with a 7-0 shutout. The Bulldogs however, were defeated by the Wildcats in overtime 1-0.

Tuggle said that the team being  close and passionate about the sport and the program is one strength they possess. However, a more harmonious play style may help them succeed in the conference.

“I would like to see us come together as more of a unit this weekend and defend more as a team and attack more as a team,” Tuggle said.

The ’Cats return home this weekend. They take on defending national champions Grand Valley State University, at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and Ferris State, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.