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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererApril 23, 2024

Men’s Soccer ready for season

“I have no doubt this team can compete for a GLIAC championship in this upcoming season; I will look forward to any fan and tell them they will see us compete for a championship.”

That’s what Men’s Soccer head coach David Poggi said back in June in a North Wind off-season update story.

It’s now August and Poggi has a bit of a better look on the upcoming season which begins today with a tournament in Grand Rapids.

“We went through a shorter pre-season so we tried to get a lot done,” Poggi said. “I think we were successful in doing that.”

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Poggi touched on this season, the second season in the program’s history, shaping up to be one of both developing new players and the experience of veterans.

“With 13 new players on the squad it was important that they transition and go through that learning curve of how we operate,” Poggi said. “The project that we’ve had from day one when I first got here was to build a team that can compete for championships and I think we’ve taken another step forward with this year’s recruiting class and last years experienced players returning.”

The team will return 16 players from last year’s inaugural squad. Ben Hoffman and Sveinn Karlsson are the Wildcats’ top returning point-getters, with Hoffman tallying nine points and Karlsson 13 points as freshmen last season.

The Wildcats posted an overall record of 5-10-2 last season, good for seventh in the GLIAC standings. The Wildcats’ home record was only 2-5-1, something Poggi would like to see improve this season.

“We didn’t do well at home last year,” Poggi said. “That’s something we think about every day and we need to be better at home; we need to work hard when we’re home, we need to be more committed at home and if we are I think people will see that and it will be an exciting thing for spectators as well.”

In this year’s GLIAC pre-season coaches’ poll, which was released Aug. 9, the Wildcats were ranked fifth out of seven teams this season.

Poggi said while polls don’t mean anything, he still takes some value from them.

“I think it shows us that we’ve got a ways to go,” Poggi said. “A lot of coaches say those polls don’t mean anything and I’m one of those coaches; but it does mean something, it’s the perception other people have of you.

“The fact that we went from ninth in a nine-team conference to fifth in a seven-team conference means that we did a good thing in our first year.”

Poggi said his team will be a mix of offensive attack and stingy defense this season.

“We’re capable of being a very good attacking team,” Poggi said. “But regardless of whether we attack well or defend well, it’s going to be dependent on how we are as a unit.

“I think we have players who have strengths in either of those two areas and I think we have some players who are strong both in attack and defending; but all of us at the same time have to be on the same page for us to be successful.”

The Wildcats open the season today with a match against GLVC-member Indianapolis at 10 a.m. NMU will also play a game at 1 p.m. Saturday against another GLVC opponent in the University of Missouri-St. Louis to wrap up the Grand Rapids tournament.

Asked once again if the Wildcats could compete for a championship, two months later, Poggi didn’t back down from his statement one bit.

“I don’t have any reservations at all that we can’t compete for a championship,” Poggi
said. “There’s a lot of territory to go through between now and then, and if we navigate that territory of ups and downs and we peak at the right time and play to our strengths and
we’re constantly driven to improve and can
bond even stronger as a group, start fitting me for a ring.”

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