Kicked off and out: Northern Michigan University Wildcats men’s soccer team loses on penalty kicks in GLIAC tourney

Northern Michigan University's Ryan Palmbaum, center, brings the ball up field as Davenport's Ben Cengic, left, and Darren Collins converge during the first half of their GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game played Sunday in the Superior Dome in Marquette. (Journal photo by Ryan Stieg)

MARQUETTE — When the postseason begins, any loss will in all likelihood be painful for a team.

The Northern Michigan University men’s squad experienced that pain in the opening round of the GLIAC Tournament on Sunday afternoon in the Superior Dome. The Wildcats couldn’t capitalize on several scoring chances during the regular part of the game, tying Davenport 1-1, then lost on penalty kicks to be eliminated.

The Panthers converted on all four of their penalty kicks as NMU (4-3-1) managing to only score on one from a shot by Niko Scheibal.

Davenport (3-4-1) got on the scoreboard early in the game on a rebound goal by Daire O’Riordan in the ninth minute and almost struck again with 30 minutes left in the first half, but Wildcats goalie Alex Weaver made a nice leaping save.

Northern’s first good chance came with just over 16 minutes left in the half on a shot by Scheibal, but Panthers goalie Carter Selvius got there in time to make the save.

Northern Michigan University’s Alex Scott, right, brings the ball along the sideline as Davenport’s Cian Quinn, left, tries to cut him off during the first half of their GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game played Sunday in the Superior Dome in Marquette. (Journal photo by Ryan Stieg)

The Wildcats capitalized on their next good chance, coming with 2:19 left in the first half when midfielder Shawn Clarke fired a great shot on net that tucked just inside the right post and past Selvius’ hands to even the score.

In the second half, Weaver kept the game deadlocked at 1-1 on an amazing save. The Panthers’ Ryan Zietlow sent a shot on net that appeared as if it was going under the crossbar, but Weaver leaped in the air at the last second and knocked it over the bar with the tip of his fingers.

NMU got another decent scoring opportunity in the 69th minute as Ryan Palmbaum got a good look at net, but Selvius made the save. Later in the 86th minute, Northern’s Casey Miller sent a shot on net that appeared to cross the goal line before it was covered by Selvius, but despite some vocal protests from the Wildcats, the game remained 1-1 and went to overtime.

In the first OT, each team was robbed by nice saves. Weaver made his good stop in the 93rd minute as he got his hand on a shot by Cian Quinn, and two minutes later Selvius made a diving save on a great shot by Clarke. NMU had two scoring opportunities in the second extra period, but both of Kaffie Kurz’s attempts were saved by Selvius.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.


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