Wildcats claw for postseason berth

POSTSEASON+OPPORTUNITIES%E2%80%94With+Senior+Weekend%2C+NMU+Men%E2%80%99s+Soccer+team+gets+ready+to+execute+in+last+home+games+of+the+season.+Photo+courtesy+of+NMU+Athletics.

POSTSEASON OPPORTUNITIES—With Senior Weekend, NMU Men’s Soccer team gets ready to execute in last home games of the season. Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics.

Travis Nelson

With postseason in sight of the NMU Men’s Soccer team, three games remain on the schedule and are even more important for Head Coach David Poggi’s team. 

The Wildcats have a four-game winning streak to hopefully ride that wave of momentum into the GLIAC Tournament.

The Wildcats picked up two historic wins on Thursday, Oct. 24 against Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), defeating them 3-0 and on Monday, Oct. 28 versus Northwood University (NU), with a 3-2 double-overtime thriller. Both matches marked the first time that NMU has defeated either SVSU or NU in the four years that Poggi has commanded the program. 

The stakes only grow for Northern, as they will compete at home for the final time this season in the next two games against Davenport University (DU) and Ashland University (AU). DU holds the second-place slot in the GLIAC, and is one point behind first-place University of Wisconsin Parkside Rangers. AU is the defending GLIAC Tournament champions, so both games will provide their challenges. 

NMU looks to change the result in both contests, as the team dropped both games by a narrow 1-0 defeat. Poggi talked about what his team needs to do to be on the winning side this time around.

“I think it’s execution, believing, being focused and trying to control the tempo of the game. Those are the things that you got to try to do,” Poggi said. “Doing it at home should be easier, but sometimes it’s a little harder because you’ve got all of the distractions at home. But I think there’s enough out there for us to be willing to focus and try to get the points we need to get.”

Not only is this weekend special because of postseason chances, the team will host its Senior Day ceremony, Poggi said, adding, it would be a special win at home for the people who’ve been supporting the team’s seniors over the past four years. 

“We have seven guys who will be graduating, and that means that those guys either all came in at the same time, or transferred in and are now in their senior year. It goes by real fast,” Poggi said. “It’s been an honor to work with them, they’re a great group of people and I think they’ve represented the university well both on and off of the field. They’re a reason why we’re hoping to be in the playoffs and go a long way.”

Kick-off begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 against the DU Panthers. The second game—Senior Day—starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3 against the AU Eagles. 

“Even though it’s Senior Weekend, we’re not stopping there,” Poggi said. “It is a special time for those seven student-athletes to reflect and hopefully have fond memories and things that they’ll hold with them and treasure for the rest of their lives.”