MARQUETTE - On Sept. 10, the now three-season-old Michigan Tech women's soccer program picked up its first-ever victory over Northern Michigan University at Sherman Field in Houghton.
On Saturday, the Huskies reached another milestone by winning for the first time ever on the Northern Michigan University pitch, 5-0, to sweep the Wildcats.
"We're a young team that can't yet figure out the level that we need to compete at to win," NMU head coach Matt Granstrand said. "We have a lot of good players, but at this level they need to play harder. It's going to be a long year for us because we're young, but we have to stick together and keep training and get better."
Northern Michigan’s Garbiella Garza (27) battles for possession with Michigan Tech’s Lindsey Van Rooy (11) on Saturday in GLIAC play on at the NMU Soccer Field. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
After the 2-0 nonconference loss to the Huskies, Granstrand said he was only expecting to get a win in this game, which was considered a GLIAC contest.
But with strong winds, hard rain and a fairly inexperienced team to work with, not much was going his way on Saturday as NMU fell to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the GLIAC.
"We can't get all 11 players to compete at the level that they need to play at to be competitive," he said. "At spurts we have six or seven, but not all eleven. So until that happens, it's going to look like this. We need everyone to step up and play at the same time."
Tech's program, which was only developed three seasons ago, has proven a force to be reckoned with in the GLIAC this year, racking up a 5-2 overall record while going 3-0 in the conference.
MTU's MacKenzie Jordan got the scoring going for the Huskies in the first minute, scoring one unassisted goal before Lexi Herrewig scored again 10 minutes later off an Alyssa Hynnek assist. Hynnek rounded out the first half scoring with an unassisted goal six minutes before halftime, making the score 3-0.
About 20 minutes after halftime, Katie Boardmen scored an unassisted goal to put the score at 4-0, before a Haley Crites goal, assisted by Lindsey Van Rooy, ended the game at 5-0 for the Huskies.
Michigan Tech head coach Michelle Jacob wasn't just pleased with the outcome of the game, but also with the progression of her team.
"I think we had a great start. The girls went out really hard and passed really well," she said. "I think our possession was really strong. By being able to possess the ball, we were able to create scoring opportunities and we were able to finish quite a few of those."
With a near brand-new program, Jacob said she has been happy with the passion she's seen in her team recently.
"I give a lot of credit to our players and how hard they've worked from year one to where we are now," she said. "They've put a lot of time and effort in and I think they're so invested and focused in what we're doing and believe in it that I think it's paying off for us."
Granstrand, who is faced with a roster stacked with primarily freshmen and sophomores, added that Tech simply out did his team in every aspect of the game.
"Tech outplayed us on every end of the field and deserved to win," he said.
"In all fairness, I know one or two of the more talented players are sick today, but I don't like excuses. We just got outplayed. We got outplayed by Michigan Tech for 90 minutes."
NMU goaltenders Shelby Conard and Nicole Musi combined for eight saves, with Conard getting four in the first and Musi taking two in the second.
MTU goalie Jenna Phelps had four saves, while her team combined for 13 total shots on goal.
NMU will play at home again on Friday against Tiffin University at 4 p.m.
Amanda Monthei can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org