Frustrated NMU men shut out again

Northern Michigan University’s Edgar Astorga, left, and Lewis Murray, right, try to steal the ball from Northwood University’s Austin Hobbs Sunday afternoon, Sept. 17, 2017, at NMU. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

MARQUETTE — Not being able to score a goal, the Northern Michigan University men’s soccer team couldn’t overcome an early deficit and lost to Northwood 2-0 in a men’s soccer game played at the NMU Soccer Field on Sunday afternoon.

The Wildcats fell to 2-3-1 overall and 0-2 in the GLIAC, while Northwood improved to 3-2-1 and 1-0.

Northwood outshot NMU decisively 15-10 and appeared to have most of the scoring chances too.

Wildcats head coach David Poggi said despite a disappointing weekend the team just has to prepare for the next games. Northern also lost at home to Saginaw Valley State 3-0 on Friday.

“It’s disappointing, but I can’t say that we managed ourselves well enough to deserve to win,” he said. “We just need to work hard this next week and get ready for two more conference games.”

Northwood coach Doug Carter said his young squad played well.

“I think it was a good team performance,” he said. “We’re young so we’re still making a lot of very basic and simple errors, but it’s a long journey for us to come up here and we enjoyed it.”

What started as a quiet first half with few chances for either team early on changed quickly when Bryan Lawson put the Timberwolves on the board in the 26th minute on a free kick. The shot initially hit the crossbar before going in the net behind NMU goalkeeper Filippo Torelli.

Just 35 seconds later, Austin Hobbs received a cross from James Vaughan, allowing Hobbs to put a header past Torelli and into the net for a sudden two-goal lead.

In the 36th minute, the Wildcats had a flurry of chances after a corner kick from Nic Harenda. After the corner failed, Sam Popp took a rebound shot followed by a header from Lewis Murray and another shot from Edgar Astorga. All three shots somehow managed to stay out of the net and in front of NU goalkeeper Corbin Cecchini.

Things got rather chippy in the second half, with several fouls and four yellow cards handed out. Torelli had three encounters with Northwood players before finally receiving a yellow card. At one point, two Wildcat teammates pushed Torelli away before anything escalated.

Poggi commented on the penalty-filled and chippy second half.

“I think we’re really frustrated right now,” he said. “We didn’t score any goals (during the weekend) and we let a couple of games get away from us.

“Guys are kind of scratching their heads and questioning what they’re doing and what we’re doing, and I think this is a time that we have to keep our heads up, keep working and get it right.”

The Wildcats saw a few more chances. A shot by Birkir Baldursson sailed high in the 75th minute. In the 84th minute, Baldursson had another shot blocked and a David Feldmann shot shortly after was saved by Cecchini.

Northwood totaled nine corner kicks to NMU’s two. Fouls were 17-10 Northwood and the Timberwolves received three yellow cards to the Wildcats’ two. Torelli made six saves as Cecchini had four.

The Wildcats go on the road for GLIAC games this week at the two new conference members. They travel to Hammond, Indiana, to play at Purdue Northwest (3-1-1) on Friday before heading north to Grand Rapids to face Davenport (4-2) on Sunday.

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.