Men’s Soccer team aims to keep their streak

Neil+Flavin

Neil Flavin

Ryan Spitza

Coming off of a successful tournament in Grand Rapids earning a win and a draw, the NMU Men’s Soccer team hopes to keep the momentum going this week as they prepare for two non-conference home matches.

The Wildcats were victorious in the season opener last Thursday against the University of Indianapolis. David Feldmann notched his first goal of the season at the 78-minute mark of the game. Nic Harenda assisted on the tally and the Wildcat defense locked it down to hold on for its first victory of the season.

NMU head coach David Poggi praised Feldmann for coming off the bench and playing a solid overall game.

“It was a huge goal for us,” he said. “He came out as a reserve player and when you come off the bench, it’s sometimes hard to get into a rhythm of the game but he was in the right place at the right time and scored us a goal.”

Poggi added that the late tally gave his team the energy burst they were looking for throughout the match.

“It certainly lifted us,” He said. “We were working hard up until that time but sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time and he [Feldmann] was.”

Things were just as bright Saturday against the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The ‘Cats found themselves up 2-0 in the first half with an early goal from Sveinn Karlsson at the 7-minute mark and another goal from Birkir Baldursson ten minutes before halftime.

UMSL responded with two goals in the second half, both coming from senior forward Pat Ries including the game-tying goal at the 89-minute mark to force overtime. The teams played to a 2-2 draw after two overtime periods.

Poggi said the game-tying goal from UMSL was a bit more than a heartbreaker.

“It was a heart-stopper, a heart attack and I don’t know what other heart terms you could have,” he said. “We controlled the game in the first half and played really well, probably the best that we’ve played so far; we deserved to be two goals ahead and we could have been four goals ahead at the half.

“I was really proud of how we played together and I was proud of the goals that we scored. In the second half they [UMSL]changed some things around and put a lot of pressure on us and we struggled with it.”

Poggi noted that the team will be without sophomore forward Ben Hoffman for the foreseeable future, stating that Hoffman was taken down from behind on a breakaway in the second half of the UMSL game.

The Wildcats (1-0-1) will take on Upper Iowa in its home opener today at 4 p.m. at the NMU soccer field before a noon match on Sunday against NAIA opponent Marygrove. Upper Iowa (2-0-0) is a brand new opponent for the Wildcats while Marygrove (2-2-0) came up to Marquette in the spring for a scrimmage.

“Upper Iowa is coming off of a win and they play in a strong conference,” Poggi said. “Their team is under a new coach so they have a new look so I really don’t know what to expect from them.

“Marygrove gets a lot of international players that are very skillful; I’ve had real close games and then blowouts in these types of games so again I don’t know what to expect from them. I know their coach [Matt Johnson] really well and he’ll do a great job getting ready to play us and it will be a battle from start to finish.”