EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (1-1-0, 0-0-0 GLIAC) earned their first victory of the 2018 season with a 2-0 defeat of the University of Southern Indiana (1-1-0, 0-0-0 GLVC) Sunday afternoon in Evansville, Indiana. It is the second-consecutive season the Wildcats have earned a region win in their first road game.
It took just one shot for the Wildcats to take the lead with the team's first attempt finding the back of the net. Senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) netted his first goal of the year at 10:19 on a header with the cross coming from senior forward Nic Harenda (Waukesha, Wisconsin).
Popp's goal gave NMU the 1-0 lead, but the Screaming Eagles had their chances taking a 4-3 shot advantage into the second half. Sophomore forward Ben Hoffman (Petoskey, Michigan) had the only other shot on goal for the Wildcats in the opening half.
|POPP SCORES AT WILL|
It took even less time for the Wildcat to score in the second half than it did in the first. At the 48 minute mark, Popp became just the second Wildcat in program history to record multiple goals in a game when he gave NMU a 2-0 lead. Junior midfielder Edgar Astorga (Chicago, Illinois) sent a long cross into the box where Popp was able to beat a defender to get a head on the ball, sending it into the back of the net.
The goal was Popp's second of the game in as many shots during the game and also set a school record for the fastest goal in the second half. Coming just 2:39 into the half, the mark surpassed the previous record 10:01 set by Popp against Upper Iowa University on September 7, 2017.
With the two-goal lead, the Screaming Eagles increased their offensive pressure with a flurry of shots at the Wildcat goal. USI ended the match with a 16-9 shot advantage but failed to find the back of the net.
NMU faced 12 shots in the second half, including two instances where the Screaming Eagles attempted back-to-back shots in less than a thirty second span. Anchoring the back line, senior defender Kevin Hoof (Grove, Minnesota) made a sliding save in the 83rd minute to ensure the shutout.
|RESTUM'S DEBUT IN GOAL|
Freshman goalkeeper Patrick Restum (Okemos, Michigan) earned his first collegiate start in the match. He played all 90 minutes saving all six shots on-goal to earn the clean sheet.
The Wildcats will return home for another non-conference tune-up next weekend against another Great Lakes Valley Conference Opponent. Quincy University will come to Marquette, Michigan for Sunday afternoon matchup scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.