MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan men's soccer team earned its first victory in program history Sunday afternoon, dispatching Walsh, 5-2.
"I'm glad we finally got this one behind us," head coach David Poggi said. "I was thinking going into the week it could happen this weekend. We talked about the loss on Friday, and we knew we had to come back and make a statement."
And the Wildcats made that statement emphatically, scoring five unanswered goals en route to their historic win.
Michael Saddler gave the Cavaliers the lead in the seventh minute of the match, firing a free kick just out of Brin Lapuh's reach.
Northern Michigan responded by netting two goals in a 10-minute window to take the lead. In the 24th minute, Sveinn Karlsson broke through, taking a pass from Ben Hoffman inside the box and sending a low shot into the right corner of the net.
In the 34th minute, the Wildcats took the lead for good when Hoffman deflected a Sam Popp free kick past Tom Jackson.
Northern Michigan broke open the game in the second half, netting three goals in an 11-minute span to take a 5-1 lead.
David Feldmann's first career goal started the offensive onslaught in the 65th minute. Karlsson raced down the left flank and laid a pass to Feldman in the right corner of the box for a tap-in goal.
Then, in the 72nd minute, Eric Suess scored his first career goal, taking a Hoffman pass on the right side of the box and threading the ball into the upper left corner of the net.
Hoffman put an exclamation mark on Northern Michigan's historic victory in the 76th minute. Suess carried the ball down the field, at one point jumping over a diving Cavalier to continue to advance, and then laid the ball ahead to a charging Karlsson. Karlsson sent a shot on net that Hoffman dove to head out of Jackson's reach.
Walsh scored off a corner kick in the 77th minute to bring the score to 5-2.
Hoffman (2g-2a), Karlsson (1g-3a) and Suess (1g-1a) became the first Wildcats to enjoy multi-point efforts. Lapuh made five saves to become the first Northern Michigan keeper to earn a victory.
The Wildcats will look to carry the momentum from their first victory into their road games against Tiffin (Sept. 23, 3 p.m.) and Findlay (Sept. 25, noon) next weekend.