After a tough road trip, women’s soccer looks ahead as they face off against Michigan Tech


Chris Anderson/NW

GEARING UP – The women’s soccer team prepares in the Dome this week as they face off against rival Michigan Tech on Friday.

Chris Anderson, Sports Editor

The Wildcats went 0-1-1 over this past weekend as they faced off against seventh ranked Grand Valley State last Friday, Sept. 23. Justina L’Esperance was the lone Wildcat to score in the heartbreaking loss to the Lakers, as Grand Valley was able to score a goal at the 88:42 mark to take the win in the top 25 matchup 2-1.

L’Esperance leads the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with seven goals this season.

“Credit to the players just for being able to manage that and go and be resilient in dealing with that red card early on and dealing with the emotions that go along with playing a match that is number seven versus a number 23,” Coach Jon Sandoval said.

The Wildcats were down a player majority of the match, as they were handed a red card in the twenty-fifth minute. The Cats were able to hold the Lakers scoreless for 65 minutes, showing just how resilient the team is and what they are capable of against some of the best opponents in the country.

“Being able to manage that and deal with that type of scenario, to have the confidence next time we were in that situation. It’s good to know we have the capability of handling it and getting results out of it,” Sandoval said. “Now we did it outside those 70 seconds, and I think that’s really what stings about it.”

NMU traveled next to Davenport University a few days later, on Sunday Sept. 25, and NMU’s Molly Pistorius scored her fifth goal of the season off an assist from L’Esperance at the 55:23-minute mark. The match ended in a 1-1 draw as the teams were tied for the majority of the second period.

“One of our goals, and one of our things that we want to accomplish each and every year, is we never want to leave points on the road,” Sandoval said. “So, I think we can look at the positive that we did get a point this weekend.” 

As the first half of the season is on the back burner, the Wildcats will be looking ahead to this Friday’s big match up against Michigan Tech. The game will be held in the Superior Dome, in front of the home crowd, as NMU looks to bounce back and get a win against the Huskies.

“Anytime you deal with surface change in terms of grass to turf, there’s movement from the ball, the speed of it is different as well. So that’s why we got to start preparing for that in order to deal with some of the imbalances that may occur differently on the turf,” Sandoval said.

The game should be electrifying as the rivals face off against each other for the first of two meetings this regular season. The second match will be in Houghton, MI on Friday Oct. 28.

“Tech is a team that we’re going to have to have preparation for and be ready to go. Anytime you start off flat or not with enough energy against the Michigan Tech team, they’re going to make you pay,” Sandoval said. “I think it’s going to be an absolute battle.”