NMU Athletics Reveals Top-10 Moments from 2017-18

NMU Athletics Reveals Top-10 Moments from 2017-18

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Athletics has been counting down the top moments of the 2017-18 year on social media over the past several weeks. The countdown concluded on Monday with the release of the top Wildcat athletics moment from last season.

The full top-10 list and their description are listed below. You can also click HERE to visit @NMU_wildcats on Twitter to view the countdown.

Top Moment #10
On April 13, NMU Women's Lacrosse earned their first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest in program history when they defeated Davenport University, 17-16. Freshman Emily Dvorak (Oconomowoc, Wisconsin) led the Wildcats with six goals in the contest, while freshman Ellie Bahr (Crystal, Minnesota) and sophomore Graison Ringlever (Mattawan, Michigan) both recorded four. In goal, freshman Emily Karbaum (Sudlersville, Maryland) made 18 saves in the victory.

Top Moment #9
Junior Karissa Guthrie (Pierre, South Dakota) became the first NMU Women's Golfer in program history to be honored on the All-GLIAC First-Team after the 2018 GLIAC Championships. Guthrie was runner-up at the meet after shooting a three-round total of 226, one stroke off the meet's medalist. Her season average of 77.8 strokes per round is the lowest in the program's three-year history.

Top Moment #8
For the first time since the 2007-08 season, NMU Men's Basketball was represented on the All-GLIAC First-Team at the end of the regular season. Junior guards Naba Echols (Memphis, Tennessee) and Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin) both earned the honors after guiding the Wildcats to a 15-13 record and an appearance in the GLIAC Tournament. Echols averaged 17.5 points and 3.4 assists per game during the season, while Johnson added 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest.

Top Moment #7
In just the program's second season, NMU Men's Soccer improved their record from the year before and advanced to the GLIAC Tournament for the first time in program history. In the quarterfinal round, the Wildcats upset a ranked Tiffin University team, 2-1, to earn the program's first-ever postseason victory. Freshman forward Birkir Baldursson (Kopavogur, Iceland) scored a late game-winning goal, while sophomore goalkeeper Filippo Torelli (Parma, Italy) made a save as time expired to secure the win.

Top Moment #6
NMU Men's Ice Hockey capped one of their best seasons in recent history with a trip to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Championship Game which the Wildcats hosted in the Berry Events Center. It was the first time the Wildcats had advanced to the conference title game since 2010. The team amassed 25 wins for the first time since 2001-02 and finished the year second in the WCHA standings.

Top Moment #5
Three NMU head coaches were honored with conference Coach of the Year Awards following the conclusion of their regular season. During the winter season, men's swimming & diving head coach Heidi Voigt was named GLIAC Coach of the Year, while men's ice hockey head coach Grant Potulny was named WCHA Coach of the Year.  Women's track & field head coach Jenny Ryan was named GLIAC Women's Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year during the team's spring season.

Top Moment #4
A trio of Wildcats earned GLIAC Commissioner Awards during the 2017-18 year which recognizes athletic and academic achievement during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Women's cross country senior Kameron Burmeister (Menominee, Michigan) and volleyball senior Madison Whitehead (Altoon, Wisconsin) earned the honor after the fall season, while track & field junior Shayla Huebner (Marquette, Michigan) received the award after the winter campaign. The honors marked the first for the Wildcats since the winter of 2014-15.

Top Moment #3
During the 2017-18 athletic year, the Wildcats earned 40 All-America awards. NMU nearly doubled the 2016-17 total of 24 All-America honors. Men's and women's swimming & diving received the most awards with 15 and 14, respectively. NMU Nordic Skiing earned four honors, while women's track & field and volleyball earned three and two. Women's cross country and men's ice hockey each earned one national awards. The total number of All-Americans has increased each of the past three seasons.

Top Moment #2
Six Wildcats garnered conference Player of the Year honors after their respective regular seasons. After the fall season, football junior Jake Mayon (Plainfield, Illinois) received the GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year award, while volleyball senior Kayla Chosa (Wrightstown, Wisconsin) was named GLIAC Blocker of the Year. Four NMU student-athletes earned major recognition after the winter season highlighted by junior Grantas Dapkus (Kaunas, Lithuania) and sophomore Rachel Helm (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) sweeping the GLIAC Men's and Women's Swimmer of the Year awards. Additionally, men's ice hockey junior Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) was named WCHA Goaltender of the Year and women's basketball freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wisconsin) earned GLIAC Freshman of the Year honors. 

Top Moment #1
A pair of Wildcats capture NCAA titles during the winter of 2017-18. NMU Nordic Skiing junior Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minnesota) captured the seventh national title in program history when he was the first to cross the finish line in the 20-kilometer freestyle race at the NCAA Skiing Championships. A week later, women's swimming & diving sophomore Rachel Helm (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) won her second national title in as many years when she defeated the field in the 200-yard backstroke.