Another Historic Season Ends in GLIAC Quarterfinals

Another Historic Season Ends in GLIAC Quarterfinals

MIDLAND, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (6-6-5, 3-4-5 GLIAC) dropped their quarterfinal matchup in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, 1-0, to Northwood University (8-8-1, 5-6-1) Tuesday afternoon. The Wildcats' season comes to an end after reaching the conference tournament for the second straight season.



Despite Northwood more than doubling the Wildcats' shot attempts in the opening half, NMU held the Timberwolves to just a pair of shots on-goal. With three shots of their own in the first half, freshmen midfielders Kaffie Kurz (Paynesville, Liberia) and Anthony Sweier (Saline, Michigan) each attempted a shot on goal for NMU.

Neither side was able to find the back of the net in the first half, sending both teams into a scoreless intermission.


NMU outshot their opponents in the second half, 5-3, and started the second 45 minutes strong taking the first three shots. The Wildcats were able to make the stop on the first NU shot attempt of the second half, but the ball was deflected to another Northwood athlete who sent the ball into the net.

The Wildcats would attempt two more shots the rest of the way, both on-goal coming from Sweier and senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan). NMU was not able to find the back of the net, making the lone Northwood goal enough to send the Timberwolves into the semifinals of the conference tournament.


Despite the loss, the Wildcats finished the 2018 campaign with a .500 record for the first time in program history. With the program beginning play during the 2016 season, NMU matched last season's win and advanced to the postseason for the second year in a row.


Freshman goalkeeper Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) made four saves in the season finale. His 67 total saves during 2018 are a single season program record for the Wildcats, while he ends the year with a save percentage of .818 and a goals against average of 1.04. Kliebe also set a program record for shutouts in a season with three solo clean sheets and a combined shutout with fellow freshman goalkeeper Patrick Restum (Okemos, Michigan).


Popp was the team's offensive leader in 2018 and will end his Wildcat career as the most prolific scorer in program history. His 10 goals and 23 points this season set single season records. The totals also helped him set the career marks in both categories, while he is also tied for the career high in assists with senior forward Nick Harenda (Waukesha, Wisconsin)  

Besides Popp, one other Wildcat reached the double-digit point mark in junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England). Olpin led the team with three game-winning goals and four assists to go along with his four goals. Not far behind, Lippert finished with nine points this season, including a pair of goals over the final five contests.