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Villarruel kicks NMU over top

MARQUETTE – Once the Northern Michigan University women’s soccer team started winning, they haven’t been able to stop.

After dropping their first seven matches this season, the Wildcats won their second in a row by edging Lake Erie 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at the NMU Soccer Field in front of 202 fans.

The teams struggled to find offense in the first half, though Northern’s Gabriella Garza was able to spring free in the 23rd minute but her shot sailed wide.

Lake Erie’s Elizabeth Awuah slipped behind the defense in the 37th minute but was denied when Alexandra Simmons came up with the save for the Wildcats.

The scoreless tie remained until the 79th minute, when NMU’s Carmen Villarruel connected with Wynona Maravilla for the lone goal of the contest.

The Wildcats (2-7 overall, 2-3 GLIAC) held the edge in both corner kicks, 5-0, and shots, 16-9. Simmons remained solid in net for the Wildcats, posting three saves. Lake Erie’s Marissa Brannon made five saves.

The Wildcats go for their third win in a row in Ohio when they face GLIAC foe Findlay at 4 p.m. Friday.