MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University soccer team (8-4-5, 8-4-3 GLIAC) picked up a much needed victory on Senior Day and the Pink Experience Day against U.P. rival Michigan Tech (7-10, 5-10 GLIAC). The Wildcats kept their NCAA hopes alive with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Huskies from the Outdoor Fields on a chilly Saturday afternoon.
Dana Stephens scored late in the overtime period after MTU’s goalkeeper mishandled the ball. Stephens picked up the free ball and softly kicked it into the open net. For Stephens, it was her team leading ninth goal of the season. With the victory, NMU will host a first-round GLIAC Tournament game on Tuesday afternoon.
Jessica Lusardi scored her first goal of the season at the 11 minute mark of the first half to give the Wildcats the lead. Dana Stephens started the play with a shot that was saved by MTU’s Mary Spoehr but the rebound went right to Lusardi for an easy put back goal.
NMU’s head coach Matt Granstrand wasn’t surprised with the quality play of Jessica Lusardi, “We always knew she was a good player. We just needed to get her more time.”
Michigan Tech’s Eva Vrana scored the Huskies lone goal when she caught a pass on the left side of the box from Lindsey Van Rooy.
Both goalkeepers played well as senior Dana Bush had 10 saves for the Wildcats and Mary Spoehr had 11 for the Huskies. NMU outshot the Huskies 21-16. Michigan Tech recorded 12 fouls to NMU’s nine and the Wildcats had nine offsides.
NMU finished the regular season third in the conference and will host a GLIAC Tournament game on Tuesday with an opponent to be determined.
“We’re proud of the fact that we’re third. We’re proud that we’re in contention for an NCAA bid. It’s a fantastic group and it’s been a fun year.” Granstrand added.
Dana Bush, Kari Buckel, Anne Spears and Dana Stephens are NMU’sfour seniors and were honored before the game. The team wore pink jerseys as NMU's Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Department is partnering with the Marquette General Foundation for a day-long benefit for the Marquette General Cancer Center in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
# # # NMU # # #