MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University men's soccer enters its second season of NCAA competition in 2017 and hopes to build on last year's successful inaugural campaign under the leadership of head coach David Poggi. The Wildcats will return 16 members from a competitive squad that not only progressed with every game, but also had a shot to make the GLIAC Tournament up until the last weekend.
"We had a great fall inaugural season, we learned a ton about our conference, a ton about ourselves, and a ton about where we want to be," said Poggi. "The experiences from year one will provide us a different platform to grow as individuals and as a team."
With one season of play under their belts, the Wildcats will look to their returners to build on their individual efforts from last season. Coach Poggi has also added 14 new faces to the 2017 roster. During the 2016 season the Wildcat defense only gave up 27 goals while the offense generated 17. "We didn't give up a lot of goals last season and we didn't generate many either," stated Poggi. "It is not as much the attackers as it is the guys who get them the ball. The addition of 14 newcomers will provide needed depth and make us even stronger. We have attack players who are hoping to build on their first season."
Sam Popp will again have a major role in the Wildcats attack. Popp will lead a very talented group. Ben Hoffman, Colton Becker and David Feldmann also return with experience and confidence from extensive playing time in their first year.
Leading scorer Sveinn Karlsson will headline a very capable group of mid-fielders. Also returning are Nic Harenda and Edgar Astorga who each played important roles on both sides of the ball. Leighton Lommel and Carson Burmeister will be counted on to add competition for a spot linking the side together.
Filippo Torelli will begin where he left off last season as the starting goalkeeper. "Filippo showed last season in training and matches that he has the qualities needed to lead us this season," said Poggi.
Captain Kevin Hoof anchors the defense for the Cats. Hoof logged 1430 minutes starting 16 of 16 matches. Hoof brings valuable veteran leadership to the squad. Sophomore's Eric Suess, Nicholas Vergara, and Nic Metcalfe also return to a backline that had a stingy 1.55 goals against average.
Wildcats at a Glance
2017 GLIAC coaches poll: 5th
2016 overall record: 5-10-2
2016 GLIAC record: 5-9-2(7th)