NMU men’s soccer season ends in GLIAC semifinals

Northern Michigan University’s Callum Olpin runs for the ball, pursued by Northwood University’s Teddy Stacey Sunday afternoon, Sept. 17, 2017, at NMU. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

By Journal Sports Staff

MIDLAND — The season ended for the Northern Michigan University men’s soccer team with a 1-0 loss to Saginaw Valley State in the semifinals of the GLIAC Tournament on Friday morning.

NMU’s season ended at 6-11-2 overall and 2-9-1 in GLIAC regular-season league games after the Wildcats won 2-1 in the tourney quarterfinals at Tiffin on Tuesday. This was Northern’s first appearance in the conference postseason in the program’s two years in existence.

Despite plenty of offense on both sides Friday, neither team scored in the first half. The Cardinals (13-3-1) held an 8-3 shots advantage, though only one shot was on goal. In addition, though, there were seven corner kicks in the half.

The Wildcats’ highlight came with a ball in the SVSU box. Sophomore midfielder Sveinn Karlsson got off a shot among a group of Saginaw defenders that nearly got through until it was headed away just before reaching the goal line, according to a report from NMU Sports Information.

Neither team got off a shot in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but soon after, Northern took a flurry of shots, recording three in less than two minutes.

Then SVSU picked up the offensive slack, getting off four shots in the second 10 minutes of the second half. The final shot proved pivotal, as it came in the 69th minute, right after another shot by Michael Hamilton off the crossbar. Hamilton followed up on the rebound, beating a defender to the ball and knocking it into the net for the game’s only score.

The Cardinals finished with a 17-8 edge in shots, though only 3-1 on shots on goal. Northern’s lone shot on goal was taken by sophomore midfielder Callum Olpin in the second half.

NMU sophomore goalkeeper Filippo Torelli recorded a pair of saves, one in each half, and ended the season with 60 saves while allowing 24 goals for a goals-against-average of 1.35.

Northern upped its win total and winning percentage from the inaugural season in 2016.

When All-GLIAC teams were announced late Thursday, junior defender Kevin Hoof earned honorable mention. He ended the season with two goals as he started all 18 of the Wildcats’ games.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal. net.