#22 Wildcats Unbeaten Streak Halted at Eight

#22 Wildcats Unbeaten Streak Halted at Eight

MARQUETTE, Mich.—No. 22 Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (6-2-2, 3-1-2 GLIAC) fell, 2-1, to Northwood University (5-5-3, 3-3-0 GLIAC) Wednesday afternoon at the NMU Soccer Field. The loss snapped a program record eight match unbeaten streak that spanned the entire month of September.


After shutting out their last five opponents, the Wildcats surrendered an early go to Northwood in the 10th minute of play. A Timberwolf managed to get his head on a free kick from just outside the box to put the Wildcats in the 1-0 deficit.

Both teams had attempted just one shot in the opening 10 minutes of action, but NMU was just getting warmed up as their offense took over the rest of the first half. Outshooting their opponent 6-2 the rest of the way, the Wildcats knotted the match at one near the midway point of the half. Sophomore forward Ben Hoffman (Petoskey, Michigan) netted his fourth goal of the season in the 26th minute on a deep cross from senior defender Kevin Hoof (Grove, Minnesota)


NMU continued their offensive attack in the second half, outshooting Northwood 10-3. With an 17-6 advantage for the match, it was the most shots the Wildcats had taken in a conference contests this season.

The difference maker in the match came in the 62nd minute when NMU was called for a foul in the box that resulted in a penalty kick for the Timberwolves. NU connected to take a 2-1 advantage that would hold the rest of the match. 


Despite the loss, NMU still achieved a program record eight-match unbeaten streak and did not lose a match during the month of September. Prior to this season, the program's longest unbeaten streak was three matches in 2016, a span that included the program's first-ever victory.

Also coming to an end was the team's shutout streak which spanned five-plus matches. NMU had not allowed a goal since September 14 and held their opponents scoreless for 522:55 of action. The streak was less than 100 minutes shy of entering the top-15 in NCAA Division II history.


A pair of Wildcats tied for the match lead with sophomore midfielder Luca Lippert (Langen, Germany) and junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England) each attempting four. To more NMU student-athletes attempted three shots including senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) and junior defender Lewis Murray (Edinburgh, Scotland). Popp lead the Wildcats with a pair of shots on-goal while Murray, Olpin and Hoffman also added one chance on-goal.


Freshman goalkeeper Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) made a single save in the match after the Wildcat defense allowed just six shots. For the season, Kliebe now owns a 0.45 goals against average and .921 save percentage which both lead the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.


The Wildcats will wrap up their week on Friday when they welcome the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to the NMU Soccer Field. It will be the second time in two weeks that the two teams have met. The Rangers fell to Davenport University on Wednesday afternoon.