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Northern Michigan University men’s soccer team falls at Northwood in snowy GLIAC quarterfinal game

Northern Michigan University’s Nick Metcalfe, left, and Purdue Northwest’s Justin Barragan vie for control of the ball in the first half of their GLIAC men’s soccer game played at the NMU Soccer Field on Sept. 20. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

MIDLAND — The Northern Michigan University men’s soccer team matched its second-highest scoring output of the season, but it wasn’t enough in the GLIAC Tournament opening-round quarterfinals that featured plenty of snow and cold on Monday afternoon.

Playing at its home field in Midland, No. 4 seeded Northwood outscored the No. 5 seed Wildcats 5-3.

NMU, which had its highest scoring output of the season with four goals in a road win at Upper Iowa on Oct. 18, finished the season at 8-11 overall and 7-7 in the GLIAC, both win totals the most in the fourth-year program’s history. The Wildcats also made the conference tournament for the third straight season.

On Monday, Northwood scored goals by Ryan Dobson and Jack Doyle in the game’s first seven minutes before NMU senior Nick Metcalfe broke through on the scoreboard from a freshman Ryan Palmbaum corner kick in the 27th minute.

The Timberwolves made it 3-1 less than 10 minutes later on an NMU own goal to end the first half that way.

Northern Michigan University's Luca Lippert looks for a teammate to pass to as he moves the ball into the offensive zone in the second half around Purdue Northwest defender Laith Sruour in their GLIAC men's soccer game played at the NMU Soccer Field on Sept. 20. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

In the second half, Metcalfe pulled his team within one with a header off a free kick in the 71st minute before Northwood made it 4-2 with a Nino Evola goal barely five minutes later.

NMU got its final goal, pulling within 4-3, less than two minutes after that with senior Luca Lippert’s sixth score of the season.

The T’wolves added insurance in the final minute when Doyle got his second of the game from a long ball from the corner. NMU had attempted a corner kick and brought its defense up in something akin to an extra attacker in hockey. But Northwood cleared the ball and got through the snow of the day faster to score into the open net.

NMU sophomore goalkeeper Patrick Restum made five saves as Northwood held a 21-14 advantage in shots. Palmbaum led the Wildcats with nine shots, while Metcalfe and Lippert each had three. NU goalie Corbin Cecchini made five saves.

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