Wildcats Prep for Final Regular Season Game at Northwood

Wildcats Prep for Final Regular Season Game at Northwood

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (6-4-5, 3-3-5 GLIAC) will wrap-up the 2018 regular season campaign on Friday when they travel to Northwood University (6-8-1, 4-6-1 GLIAC) for a noon kick-off. The match will have postseason implications for the Wildcats who need a victory to guarantee that they will host an opening match of the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.

  FOLLOW ALONG

Fans can follow the season finale on Friday using the links below. These links can also be found on the team schedule or composite calendar at NMUwildcats.com.

Friday at Northwood
Twitter Updates: https://twitter.com/NMU_Wildcats
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2PcPnM6
Live Video: https://bit.ly/2fetVTP

  POSTSEASON HOPES

Just one match remains in the 2018 regular season before the 2018 GLIAC Tournament gets underway. Currently, the Wildcats sit at fourth in the conference standings with 14 points. The top two teams in the league will receive a first-round bye in the tournament, while the third and fourth seeded squads will host quarterfinal matches against the fifth and sixth ranked teams.

The Wildcats have clinched a berth in the conference postseason and are now fighting to host an opening round contest. With a win on Friday at Northwood, they would host a first-round match in the conference tournament. With a draw against the Timberwolves, the Wildcats would need a draw or loss by Ashland University who will be taking on Saginaw Valley State University.

  WEEKEND RECAP

The Wildcats began their weekend with a 2-1 loss to Purdue University-Northwest. NMU tied the match in the 65th-minute of play, but the Pride found the back of the net with 10 minutes remaining to seal a victory.

Against Davenport University on Friday, NMU trailed at the half but scored a pair of goals early in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) netted both Wildcat goals, but the Panthers managed a score in the 76th-minute to force overtime. Neither team was able to seal a victory in the two OT periods resulting in a 2-2 draw.

   POPP FUELS THE OFFENSE

With two more goals over the weekend, Popp continues to push his program record for goals and points in a season. He now has 10 goals and 22 points in 2018 with his total goals leading the GLIAC and his total points sitting at second-highest in the conference.

A pair of Wildcats have four goals this season including sophomore forward Ben Hoffman (Petoskey, Michigan) and junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England). With four more assists, Olpin is second on the team with 12 points while Hoffman is third with nine.

  KLIEBE IN GOAL

NMU has improved significantly on the defensive end in their third season of competition. The Wildcats have cut their goals allowed in 2018 and are allowing just 0.99 goals per match. A five-match shutout streak was one of the highlights of September with the Wildcat defense holding their opponents scoreless for 522:55 over the course of 7 matches.

 Freshman goalkeeper Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) has earned the start between the posts in the last 12 matches for the Wildcats. He leads the team and is near the top of the national leaderboard with a 0.97 goals against average and a .833 save percentage. Both stats put Kliebe at second-best in the conference goalkeeper categories.

  NMU VERSUS NORTHWOOD

The Wildcats will end the regular season on the road at Northwood looking for revenge of a loss earlier this season. The Timberwolves recorded a 2-1 victory in Marquette on October 3.