Weekend recap: women’s soccer dominates, football falls to Davenport


WRAPPING UP THE WEEKEND—The NMU football team celebrates on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of its game against Wayne State on Saturday, Oct. 2. However, the ‘Cats football team fell on the road to Davenport 18-13 to drop to 1-1 in conference play. Travis Nelson/NW

Travis Nelson, Sports Editor

It was an up and down weekend as a whole for NMU Athletics, with teams coming up big and falling short. The women’s soccer team went undefeated with two impressive wins over UW-Parkside and Purdue Northwest in a two-game homestand, and football came up short on the road against Davenport 18-13. 

In other events on the weekend, the volleyball team fell to Michigan Tech 3-0 in a rivalry match-up, and the men’s soccer team won its first ever game against UW-Parkside 2-1 to get back on the winning side of things.

The NMU women’s soccer team didn’t mess around this past weekend with 4-0 and 8-0 home victories. Friday’s 4-0 win over UW-Parkside was showcased by forward Isabela Cardoso’s two-goal game, and both were within 20 minutes of each other in the first half. Northern led 3-0 at the half with a goal from midfielder Brooke Pietela, and forward Ashley Koch added another at 52:37 in the second half to close it out.

The ‘Cats (6-5, 4-3 GLIAC) set their season high in goals with a 8-0 win over Purdue Northwest in Sunday’s match-up. Midfielder Caroline Halonen and forward Brenna Musser each had two goals in the victory, and Cardoso added her third of the weekend. Forwards Caitlyn Trombley and Evelyn Flor, and midfielder Maria Storm also found the back of the net for Wildcat goals. 

Halonen scored first 4:19 in the game to put NMU in front early. Late in the half, Musser scored twice and Trombley added a third goal three between the 41:25 and 43:57 marks to extend the lead to 4-0 at the break. Halonen added her second goal at 49:43, and Storm scored her goal less than three minutes later at 52:05. Flor made the score 7-0 with her score at the 62:06 mark, and Cardoso came through with a goal on the penalty kick at 88:34.

“We were able to implement some things and I think we’ve been hurting in areas like within the switch point of attack, winning the ball back within transition,” coach Jon Sandoval said. “Connecting passes going forward has been an area that we’ve done well in moments but not throughout 90 minutes. Now, the difference between being good and being great is doing those things against better teams.”

After having a successful weekend, the ‘Cats will now have their toughest weekend yet on the road against #1 Grand Valley State and #9 Ferris State. Northern will take on Ferris in Big Rapids at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, and will travel to Allendale to battle Grand Valley at noon on Sunday.

The NMU football team’s offensive woes crept back on Saturday afternoon in a 18-13 road loss to Davenport. Northern (3-3, 1-1 GLIAC) defeated the Panthers 20-14 in a home non-conference game back on Sept. 18. However, this one was for the conference standings, and the ‘Cats could only muster 13 points and 201 yards of offense.

Quarterback Drake Davis completed 16 of his 27 passes for 135 yards and carried the ball nine times for 25 yards. Running back DJ Stewart led the rushing game once again with 31 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Tight end Jake Witt had 44 yards receiving on two catches to lead the receiving game for the ‘Cats, but there wasn’t much there. 

Northern trailed 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Stewart’s six-yard touchdown run cut Davenport’s lead to 10-7 with 14:55 left in the half. The Panthers added two field goals and a safety, making it 18-7 with less than eight minutes remaining. NMU added one more score with a seven-yard run by wide receiver Tyquan Cox with 2:01 to go. The Wildcats had one more gasp trailing by five in the final minute, but came up short in the end. 

“We just got to get some guys that can get some separation from coverage,” coach Kyle Nystrom said. “We got to do things to set that up better and do the things that we got to do. There’s got to be some things done better with the way how we go about our business.”

Things get interesting this weekend when Michigan Tech comes to town for the annual rivalry showdown. NMU hasn’t defeated MTU since 2009, and time will tell if this is the year that the ‘Cats can knock off the Huskies. Kickoff is at noon on Saturday at the Superior Dome.