Road games kick-off Women’s Soccer season


Nate Bellville

As summer vacation comes to a close, the Northern Michigan University’s Women’s Soccer team is in full swing with new coach Sonia Basma at the helm and a weekend of games ahead of them.

In the program’s 21st year, Sonia Basma became the fifth head coach in Wildcats’ history. She transfers to NMU after spending the last two seasons as an assistant, and later as head coach, at Nichols College in Massachusetts. 

Basma said she and the team are handling the transition smoothly.

“When I think of my team, the first word that comes to mind is discipline,” Basma said. “Our expectation this year to push our culture. It is a transition year for us, so the girls are still adapting into my coaching style.”

The season begins Friday at Saint Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota and on Sunday at Winona State University in Rochester.

Sophomore goalkeeper Briana Frontuto said Basma has set high expectations for the team moving forward through the season adding that the team under their new coach should be more of a tight-knit team than they were last year.

“I would like to see everyone on the team to get along and show unity, and be able to rely on each other,” Frontuto said. “As long as everyone does their job and play as a team, everything will go fine.”

Seven seniors return for the Wildcats; key players include: senior midfielder Abby Cook, junior Raven Mitchell on defense, and junior midfielder Maddie Herbert.

The new coach has identified Cook and Mitchell as strong offensive tools.

“Abby is a natural striker who wants to go to goal and has a real urgency to put the ball in the back of the net,” Basma said. “Raven is athletically beyond this world, we just need to fine tune her technically and she will be a force for us.”

Last year, the Wildcats lost to both teams at home after beating Finlandia University, with the scores of 2-0 to the Saint Cloud State Huskies and 3-2 in overtime to the Warriors of Winona State.

Frontuto believes that, despite no specific insights from their first two opponents, the team can play at a good pace suited for them to win.

“We just hope to defend ourselves as a unit and use counter-attacks to help get our offense to a faster pace of the game and help us win,” Frontuto said. “Even though we’re not too specific with the teams yet, I still believe we can play as hard as they are.”

The Wildcats’ first GLIAC conference soccer game is on September 15th at home against Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals.