MARQUETTE, Mich.—No. 22 Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (6-3-2, 3-2-2 GLIAC) dropped a nail-bitter to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (7-3-1, 5-1-1 GLIAC) Friday afternoon, 1-0, at the NMU Soccer Field. It was the second nearly-even match between the two sides in less than two weeks with the difference being a Parkside goal with four seconds remaining.
|TWO EVEN SIDES|
After finishing their last meeting in a scoreless draw, both sides were nearly even in the opening half. Each team attempted nine total shots in the first 45 minutes of play with the Wildcats recording three saves, while just a pair of NMU's shots came on-goal.
Tied going into the halftime intermission, both teams had played scoreless for the first 155 minutes against each other in each program's history.
The Wildcats controlled the tempo for much of the second half, eventually outshooting the Rangers, 12-7, in the second 45 minutes of action. NMU managed four shots on-goal in the half compared to just a pair from UWP.
Later in the half, each team had a number of shot opportunities but failed to connect. Each team was also called offsides in the final 15 minutes of play to cancel negate a goal scoring opportunity.
Eventually, the Rangers were able to seal a victory in the closing seconds of the match. Parkside sent the ball deep past the Wildcat defense with a UWP forward beating the NMU keeper to the ball, sending it into the back of the net. The goal came with four seconds remaining to give UWP the last second win.
NMU edged their opponent with 21 shots in the match compared to 16 for the Rangers. The Wildcats also held an advantage in corners kicks, 8-2. Sophomore forward Ben Hoffman (Petoskey, Michigan) led the team with five shots, including on that game on-goal. Junior defender Edgar Astorga (Chicago, Illinois), senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan), and sophomore midfielder Luca Lippert (Langen, Germany) each recorded three shots with one of Popp's and Lippert's chances being on-target.
Freshman forward Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) made four saves between the posts for the Wildcats to bring his season total to 39, second-most in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. His record this season drops to 4-2-2, but his season save percentage of .907 leads the conference, while his 0.52 goals against average is second-best in the league.
The final home weekend of the season will take place next week when the Wildcats play host to Saginaw Valley State University and Davenport University. NMU will host the Cardinals on Friday and the Panthers on Sunday with kick-off at 2:30 p.m. both days.
Senior Day will be held on Sunday which the ceremony being the first in Wildcat history. The first seniors in program history will graduate in 2018-19 after joining the inaugural team three years ago. Senior midfielder Carson Burmeister (Grayling, Michigan), senior forward Nic Harenda (Waukesha, Wisconsin), senior defenseman Kevin Hoof (Grove, Minnesota), and Sam Popp will be honored prior to Sunday's match.