Wildcats, Cardinals Draw for the Second Time in as Many Weeks

Wildcats, Cardinals Draw for the Second Time in as Many Weeks

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (6-3-3, 3-2-3 GLIAC) played to a 2-2 draw with No. 19 Saginaw Valley State University (8-1-4, 6-1-2 GLIAC) Friday afternoon at the NMU Soccer Field. It is the second time in as many weeks that the Wildcats and Cardinals have played to a draw.


It didn't take long for the Wildcats to take the lead, scoring just five minutes into the contest. A corner kick from junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England) was sent to freshman midfielder Kaffie Kurz (Paynesville, Liberia) Kurz managed to get a head on the ball and send it to senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) for the first score of the match. It was Popp's sixth goal of the season, while Kurz and Olpin picked up their second and fourth assists of the season.

The Cardinals were able to tie the match around 10 minutes later by scoring their first goal of the day. A free kick went off the cross bar before falling down and into the goal. The 1-1 score would hold the rest of the half with the two sides deadlocked at the halftime intermission.


At the 70-minute mark, the Cardinals regained the lead with a shot that was stopped by Freshman goalkeeper Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) but rebounded by SVSU and sent into the Wildcat goal. The second score of the match for SVSU was short lived as the Wildcats tied the contest just four minutes later. 


For the second time in the match and the seventh time in 2018, Popp found the back of the net to even the contests at two goal each in the 74th-minute. A free kick from just outside the box was bent into the near side of the net for Popp's third multi-goal match of the season.

Popp is now tied for the conference lead with seven goals while he is tied for second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 16 assists.


Neither team was able to net a goal in the in the final 16 minutes of regulation forcing the Wildcats into their third overtime match of the season. The Wildcats outshot their opponents in the two overtime periods, 3-2, but neither side could seal a victory. The 2-2 draw marks the second between the two teams in two weeks after playing to a scoreless draw on September 30. 


Kliebe made a five saves in match to bring his season total to 44. His total saves are tied for the second-most in the GLIAC, while his goals against average of 0.67 is also second-best in the league. Kliebe leads the league in save percentage at .880.


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), Kevin Hoof, and Sam Popp will be honored prior to Sunday's match versus Ashland University for Senior Day.