UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich.—No. 21 Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (6-1-2, 3-0-2 GLIAC) played to their second scoreless draw in three games Sunday afternoon, this time against Saginaw Valley State University (5-1-3, 3-1-1). The draw pushes the Wildcats current unbeaten streak to eight-consecutive matches, while they shutout their opponents for the fifth straight contest.
It was all Cardinals early with SVSU taking a 10-5 shot advantage into the halftime intermission. SVSU managed six shots on-goal and also added six corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes of action. Despite the high-powered Cardinal offense, the Wildcat defense managed to hold their opponents scoreless in the first half.
The second half was much the same story with SVSU outshooting the Wildcats, 8-1, in the half. It marked the first time in 2018 that the Wildcats have surrendered double digit shot attempts to an opponent, but still managed to keep the Cardinals without a goal in the second half. The lone NMU shot attempt in the half came from senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) in the 54th minute.
For the second time in three matches, the Wildcats went to overtime with their conference opponent. NMU's defense continued to hold the Cardinals offensive attack at bay, stopping all eight shot attempts, including four that came on-goal. The Wildcats attempted one shot in the extra 20 minutes of action which came in the 104th minute from junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England).
Neither side was able to find the back of the net in the overtime periods forcing the Wildcats' second scoreless draw in three matches. After a University of Wisconsin-Parkside loss on Sunday, NMU is now within two points of the Rangers who sit atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings.
|UNBEATEN IN OCTOBER|
With eight matches during the month of October, the Wildcats managed to earn a victory or draw on each occasion to finish the month with an 6-0-2 mark. Sunday's draw continues to improve the program record now at eight matches since NMU's last defeat which came in the season opener on August 30.
During that streak, the Wildcats earned set another program record with five-consecutive victories from September 2 through September 21.
|CAN'T SCORE ON KLIEBE|
Another streak the Wildcats continued in the draw was their streak of five consecutive matches where they have held their opponents without a goal. In total, it has been 512:41 since NMU surrendered a goal with the last opponent goal coming on September 15 versus Davenport University.
Freshman goalkeeper Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) earned the start between the posts and improved his season record to 4-0-2 in the draw. Kliebe has accounted for 448:27 of the Wildcats' current shutout streak. He has allowed a GLIAC low one goal this season and has a goals against average of 0.17. His .971 save percentage is also the best mark in the conference.
The Wildcats will return to the NMU Soccer Field on Wednesday for a midweek matchup with Northwood University. The contest is set for 3:30 p.m. and will begin NMU's final homestand of the season which will last four matches. On Friday, the Wildcats will play host to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a 3:30 p.m. start time.