MARQUETTE, Mich. â?? The Northern Michigan University soccer team scored three first-half goals and shutout the Lake Erie Storm 3-0 on Sunday (Sept. 22) from the NMU Soccer Field. It was the Wildcats first win of the season as they opened Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
"Lake Erie is a good team," NMU coach Matt Granstrand said. "Scoring first, finally, allowed us to relax and when we relax we're pretty good. I think we've played well all year but today our shots went in and that was the difference."
Senior KC McCary scored the game-winner with her first goal of the season 10:49 into the game. She scored on a rebound after freshman Carmen Villarruel's shot. It was Villarruel's second assist of the season and first of two on the day.
"The GLIAC schedule is everything," Granstrand added. "We obviously want to win our non-conference games but at the end of the day we want to win at home in the conference and split on the road in the conference and if we do that we'll have a good year."
Freshman Paula Hafner added to the lead, scoring her first career goal midway through the first half (22:20). She blasted a shot over the Lake Erie goalkeeper. Villaruel fed her the ball on the left side of the box.
Hafner buried her second of the half five minutes later (27:58). Sophomore Helen Kiilunen picked up her first point of the season with the assist when she passed the ball to Hafner from the endline.
"Paula and Carmen are good players and that's what I expect them to do," Granstrand said. "We have a lot of injuries and Carmen is stepping in and playing very well. Paula is great at assisting and finishing plays."
Freshman goalkeeper Caroline Glantz recorded her first career win, stopping three shots in 83:30 of action. Sophomore Shelby Conard saw her first action of the season between the pipes, playing the final 6:30.
With the win, NMU is now 1-5 on the season and 1-0 in the GLIAC. The 'Cats are also 4-0 all-time against the Storm. LEC is 1-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
"It was a good team effort," said Granstrand. "We moved the ball really well. I think we're a good team. We just need to get that first goal, relax, and settle in and play."
NMU outshot Lake Erie 12-7, including an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal.
Sarah Stroope had five saves for the Storm. Paige Nemec had three shots while Marlene Lesniowski and Alexandria Gagne added two.
NMU wraps up the first month of the season with a GLIAC game at Michigan Tech on Sept. 28.
Game Notes: NMU finished 3-for-4 in Homecoming events at home. Volleyball was 2-0 with a pair of sweeps, football fell to Ohio Dominican and soccer wrapped up the weekend with the win over Lake Erie.