Wildcats Begin 2018 with Two Nonconference Matchups

Wildcats Begin 2018 with Two Nonconference Matchups

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer will begin the 2018 campaign this weekend when they compete in a pair of nonconference matchups Thursday and Sunday. On Thursday, the Wildcats will play host to Mercyhurst University before traveling to take on the University of Southern Indiana in a regional contest. Thursday's home match will begin at 3 p.m., while Sunday's contest in Evansville, Indiana will begin at 3:30 p.m.

WEEKLY NOTES

  FOLLOW ALONG

Fans can follow both contests this weekend using the links below. These links can also be found on the team schedule or composite calendar at NMUwildcats.com.

Thursday vs. Mercyhurst
Game Program: http://www.nmuwildcats.com/programs
Twitter Updates: https://twitter.com/NMU_Wildcats
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2w75iAz
Live Video: https://bit.ly/2gKCaqA

Sunday at Southern Indiana
Twitter Updates: https://twitter.com/NMU_Wildcats
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2w9Mbpy
Live Video: http://glvcsn.com/

  EXHIBITION RECAP.

In their lone exhibition contest of the year, NMU defeated the University of Wisconsin-Superior by a score of 5-0. Five different Wildcats scored goals while Senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) and sophomore forward Ben Hoffman (Petoskey, Michigan) each recorded three points with a goal and an assist. Junior goalkeeper Brayden Wilinski (Seymour, Wisconsin) and freshman Patrick Restum (Okemos, Michigan) combined to shutout the Yellowjackets in goal.

  RETURNING OFFENSE.

MU returns 10 of their 11-point scorers from a season ago, including their top scorer. Sam Popp recorded 15 points on six goals and three goals to lead the team in all three categories. Junior midfielder Sveinn Karlsson (Akureyri, Iceland) and senior defender Kevin Hoof (Grove, Minnesota) also recorded multiple goals last season, while senior forward Nic Harenda (Waukesha, Wisconsin) tied for the team lead with three assists.

  NEW FACES IN GOAL.

The lone returning Wildcat to have seen action between the post will be Brayden Wilinski. He played in 160 minutes a season ago recording a 1.68 GAA and .625 save-percentage. Freshman goalkeeper Cole Sing (Berrien Center, Michigan) will also return after redshirting in 2017. Another freshmen will also compete for time with Patrick Restum joining the roster.

  SENIOR LEADERS.

The first seniors in program history will graduate in 2018-19 after joining the inaugural team three years ago. Carson Burmeister, Nick Harenda, Kevin Hoof, and Sam Popp will be honored October 14 for Senior Day.

  POGGI ENTERS HIS THIRD SEASON.

In his first two seasons with the Wildcats, head coach David Poggi owns an 11-21-4 record. He guided NMU to their first postseason appearance in program history during the 2017 season, where the Wildcats defeated Tiffin University, 1-0, to earn their first-ever postseason victory. 

  NMU VERSUS MERCYHURST.

The matchup between the Wildcats and the Lakers will be the first between the two programs. Mercyhurst finished their 2017 campaign with a 12-6 record and an appearance in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament.

  NMU VERSUS SOUTHERN INDIANA.

NMU and USI have never met on the pitch prior to Sunday's contests. The Screaming Eagles open their new season Thursday against Kentucky Wesleyan College after finishing with an 11-7-1 mark and an appearance in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship match in 2017.