Women’s soccer falls in weekend of home games

Courtesy+of+NMU+athletics

Courtesy of NMU athletics

Nate Bellville

The Northern Michigan University Women’s Soccer team played their first home games of the season over the weekend.

Unfortunately, the team did not get the win that they hoped for.

The Wildcats were shut out with the score of 2-0 to both the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on Friday and to the Bemidji State University Beavers on Sunday.

The outcome from both games were resulted from late kicks and pressure from opposing offenses.

Wildcats head coach Sonia Basma said that both teams played well despite allowing the late scores.

“We performed well, it’s just ‘little lapses’ that we got caught up on,” Basma said.

Senior defender Allyssa Milam said the team has shown improvements in offense and defense.

“Despite the scores, we walked away with confidence,” Milam said. “Our defense has been night and day, but we definitely improved on that.”

Senior midfielder Abby Cook said their main focus the last couple weeks has been on defense.

“We really focused entirely on our defense and it has progressed,” Cook said.

Playing at home for the first time last Friday, the Wildcats started out taking the game easy, but the Bulldogs were attacking from the beginning.

Minnesota-Duluth’s fast-paced offense had seven shots, while NMU did not attempt a shot in the first half. Of the Bulldogs’ seven shots, five went on-goal and NMU freshman goalkeeper Briana Frontuto picked up five saves in the half.

At 70:15 in the second half, the Bulldogs broke the scoreless tie off a Skye Finley header goal from the corner. Less than a minute later, another corner kick goal was deflected off an NMU player which decided the contest at 2-0.

Frontuto finished with eight saves, with Cook notching two of the team’s three shots.

On Sunday, the Wildcats had a more defensive approach against the Beavers. The game had no score at the end of the first half.

In the second half, the game still had no score all the way to the 83:51. Bemidji State’s Raquel Thelen kicked in a goal off a rebound save. Not even three minutes later, a free kick from Dani Nelson iced the game for the Beavers at 2-0.

The Beavers brought pressure with 13 shots, six on-goal, with Frontuto recording four saves from their on-goal shots. NMU recorded just four shots; two each off from Cook and freshman forward Jenna Halonen.

“In both games it tells you how competitive it was from both Minnesota-Duluth and from Bemidji State,” Basma said. “Both goals from the games came late and it just shows you it was a good match.”

Besides allowing the two late goals, Frontuto brought up her season save total to 20, which is third in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

Basma said by having Frontuto, who was redshirted last year, step up at net,  it came at the right time.

“Briana has been really solid for us,” Basma said. “Especially with the jump that she made, it was huge.”

“Even with the phenomenal work she’s been giving us, her inexperience is going to hold her back a bit,” Basma added.

The team will host Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals on Friday and the Northwood University Timberwolves next Sunday.

Both Cook and Milam are looking forward to the opportunity to face their familiar opponents for the first time this year.

“Both Saginaw Valley and Northwood are really good teams and we’ll catch a glimpse on what the GLIAC teams are all about,” Cook said.

“They’re both always great games,” Milam said. “We know that we can compete with those teams because we know them well and we’re confident that we can win.”