Wildcats set pace early


Nate Bellville

With one game on the schedule last weekend, the Northern Michigan Men’s Soccer team made the best of it, kicking to a 3-2 win over the Quincy University Hawks.

Wildcats head coach David Poggi said the team won this game by staying focused.

“We came out against Quincy with a solid game plan. That came by working really hard throughout the week,” Poggi said. “We have the same basic tenants, and when you have that attention to detail, things happen.”

Both teams were quiet in the first half with NMU holding a 5-2 shot advantage after 30 minutes of action. Junior midfielder Edgar Astorga struck first for NMU, sending a scorching shot into the back of the net for his first goal of the season. Redshirt sophomore Ben Hoffman recorded his first assist of the season on Astorga’s goal.

Just two minutes later, junior defender Lewis Murray recorded his first goal of the season with Astorga again contributing on the scoresheet, this time with an assist. The Hawks scored late in the half to eat away at NMU’s lead, making it 2-1 at halftime.

Senior forward Sam Popp’s hot streak continued out of the intermission as he scored in 63rd minute after catching a cross into the box from Astorga. The Wildcat’s two goal safety net disintegrated in the 75th minute with a Quincy score, but the Wildcats would hold tight the rest of the match and took home the 3-2 victory.

With the opening stretch of non-conference games now behind them, the team is transitioning towards GLIAC play and competing in a conference with a greater pace-of-play.

Poggi said he’s looking forward to earning some marquee wins in key conference contests.

“Conference matches are a whole different breed, but the differences between winning and losing are real tight,” Poggi said. “Going into this weekend, we’ve got to realize that it’s conference time and that means taking care of small details.”

The Wildcats begin conference action this Friday, Sept. 14, at home as they host the Davenport University Panthers, followed up with a matchup against Purdue Northwest University on Sunday, Sept. 16.