Women’s soccer maintains intensity at the start of the season


Photo courtesy of @euphoriaphotos

TOGETHER- The Wildcats work together to move the ball up the field against the Golden Eagles.

Nathan Kwapisz, Sports Writer

The NMU women’s soccer team won against the Golden Eagles this past Saturday. Justina L’Esperance, sophomore pre-nursing major, has scored for her fourth straight game in the season with two goals notched in last Saturday’s game.

“I think it sends a message to all the GLIAC [Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference] and it shows that we are good and ready to go,” L’Esperance said.

The Wildcats have had a great start to the season with a 3-0-1 start. The season opened with St. Cloud, followed by Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State. Northern has notched all wins with one tie coming from Bemidji State.

“I think everyone who finished their runs were able to get on some good passes and that really helped,” L’Esperance said. “My teammates have helped me a ton. I am trying to improve on beating people one on one, getting passes up and also getting across and finishing my chances.”

Katie Turner, forward, sophomore biology major, played her first career game in Saturday’s match. In her first year on the team, Turner is adapting to the pace of college athletics and the intensity with which you must perform at this level. Turner hopes to improve on ball retention and passing to continue building her foundation of play at the collegiate level.

“I think we started off really good,” Turner said. “We were a little hesitant coming into this game because we knew that if we played down to their level, they would take advantage of it.”

Coach Jon Sandoval acknowledges the tendency of teams to start out flat in the game, but this is one of the challenges he hopes to eliminate this season moving forward.

“That is something that we have talked about in the last couple weeks is making sure that we come right away with intensity,” Sandoval said. “And that is one of the best things about being on the road to begin with is because typically you do start off and go flat on the road.”

Sandoval talked about the pros of starting out with the tough schedule of traveling from Marquette to other teams.

“With traveling, that brings out the real problems of the team because of all the unknown factors that force mistakes to bubble to the surface,” Sandoval said. “This does help because we can get at this in the start of the season instead of the end.”

Sandoval is proud of how the team kept up its intensity on the field as well and is looking to maintain that energy for the whole season.

“We cannot allow the highs to get too high, and the lows too low,” Sandoval said. “So we have to continue to keep our foot on the pedal and move forward.”

The players are especially looking forward to the upcoming Michigan Tech game on Oct. 28 and Grand Valley State on Oct. 9.

“We are going to take each match one at a time,” Sandoval said. “Just the growth, the maturity and the competitiveness … The margin of error at this level is very thin, and everybody is good.”