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Staying alive

NMU women’s soccer moves on to GLIAC championship

Caroline Halonen

BIG RAPIDS — When the GLIAC women’s soccer poll was released in March, the Northern Michigan University squad was picked to finish ninth in the 10-team conference.

However, the Wildcats (8-2-1) have proved the predictors wrong all season and are now in the GLIAC Championship match for the first time in school history after a 1-0 upset win over Ashland Friday.

After getting denied by Eagles goalie Hannah Lee in the third minute of the first half, NMU midfielder Caroline Halonen found the back of the net in the 35th minute. A free kick from Brooke Pietila sailed into the box where it was headed into the air and then over to Aidan Senior. She then passed it over to Halonen, who fired it past Lee to get Northern on the scoreboard.

The Eagles were outshot 12-4 in the first half, but in the second, they were the aggressors as Ashland put up nine shots. However, Wildcats goalie Shenae Kreps stopped shots by Ashland’s Vanessa Menchofer in the 69th minute and Hannah Mueller in the 88th minute to maintain the shutout. Kreps finished with four saves.

Northern will face preseason favorite Grand Valley State in the championship at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ferris State.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

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