The Northern Michigan University Women’s Soccer team dropped a pair of home matches last weekend, falling 2-0 to Tiffin on Friday before swallowing a bitter 4-1 pill against Ashland on Sunday.
On Friday, the Wildcats had a tough time sparking their offense, managing only one shot in the first half, while the Tiffin Dragons put eight balls toward the goal. Tiffin’s Adrianna Currie scored in the 23rd minute, putting the Dragons on top 1-0, a score that would stand for the remainder of the half.
Currie added another tally two minutes after the resumption of play to increase her team’s lead to 2-0 in the 47th minute of the match. Try though they might, the Wildcats couldn’t mount a comeback despite taking six shots, two of which were on target. When the final whistle sounded, NMU found itself on the losing side by a score of 2-0.
“It was a winnable game, we just didn’t put it together,” head coach Sonia Basma said of her team’s performance.
The Wildcats looked to redeem themselves on Sunday against the Ashland University Eagles in less-than-ideal playing conditions. The combination of a brisk wind and chilling rain created adversity for the players, but Ashland was able to get five of their seven total shots in the opening half on target. NMU freshman goalkeeper Brianna Frontuto stopped four of those five, with the only ball that got past her coming in the 29th minute off of a shot from the top of the box by Ashland’s Morgan Bittengle. Northern failed to put a shot on goal in the first half.
Ten minutes after the start of the second half, Bittengle scored again, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Ashland’s Kelsey McKernan added a goal in the 66th minute, making the game 3-0, and four minutes later, Bittengle completed her hat trick, bringing the score to a rather one-sided 4-0.
The Wildcats seemed to find some rhythm on offense late in the game, with NMU freshman defender Julia Jonassen scoring in the 73rd minute of play to break the shutout. However, the offensive effort was too little, too late, and the final scoreline was 4-1 in favor of the visiting Ashland Eagles.
“I think it’s a work in progress,” Basma said about the team’s struggling offense. “I think we saw a little bit of that urgency in the second half against Ashland, and that was primarily because we had that urgency from the middle going forward, and as a result we were able to create in the final third.”
The Wildcats will wrap up their home schedule this weekend, as they host the Ferris State Bulldogs at 4 p.m. Friday and the Grand Valley State University Lakers at 1 p.m. Sunday for NMU’s Senior Day.