Men’s Soccer begins 2021 with 4-0 loss to Saginaw Valley State


SEASON OPENING LOSS—Junior defender Julius Reis possesses the ball for NMU in a game from last season. In the 2021 season opener, the ‘Cats fell at home to Saginaw Valley State 4-0 inside of the Superior Dome. Photo courtesy of Julius Reis.

Travis Nelson

The NMU Men’s Soccer team kicked off its shortened 2021 season at home inside of the Superior Dome on Sunday afternoon. In a tough debut outing, the Wildcats fell to visiting Saginaw Valley State University, 4-0. 

Coming into the season, the ‘Cats (0-1 GLIAC) were ranked fifth out of eight teams in the GLIAC Preseason Poll. SVSU ranked second coming in, tallying two first-place votes and trailing poll leader Wisconsin-Parkside by three points. With the seasons changing due to COVID-19, the teams played inside of NMU’s Superior Dome instead of the soccer team’s normal home setting. 

The first game of the year presented its challenges for Northern against a high-quality team. It was a tight first half, with the Cardinals clinging to a 1-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Palmbaum had the first two shots of the game for either side, but the Wildcats only garnered two more shots the rest of the half. SVSU’s senior midfielder Danny Barlow connected on a goal at 14:15 with an assist from junior midfielder Brady Walker.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals got a penalty kick, and the game started to get away for the ‘Cats. Sophomore forward Kairo Coore knocked in the penalty shot at 50:38, extending the Cardinals’ lead to 2-0. It only took Saginaw two minutes to boost their lead up to 3-0 with an unassisted goal from sophomore defender Ben Adamson. At the 70:34 mark, Coore scored his second goal of the game with an assist from Barlow, and that was the dagger. Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Weaver saw 10 shots on goal and picked up six saves for the Wildcats.

NMU will have an opportunity to get its first win this Sunday, March 14 with a road match-up against Davenport. The Wildcats and Panthers will square off in Grand Rapids at 1 p.m.