#22 Wildcats Fend Off Ranger Attack for Scoreless Draw

#22 Wildcats Fend Off Ranger Attack for Scoreless Draw

KENOSHA, Wis.—No. 22 Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer (5-1-1, 2-0-1 GLIAC) fought to a scoreless draw with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (5-2-1, 3-0-1 GLIAC) in a battle between the only two unbeaten teams in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.  

  SLOW START

Both sides struggled to get chances at the goal in the early going with one shot from each team in the opening 15 minutes of action. The lone shot on-goal by either squad in that span came at the six-minute mark by the Rangers.

There would be just four more shots on-target the rest of the half with NMU taking a 3-2 lead for the category into the halftime intermission.

  DEFENSE HOLDS ON

From there, Parkside increased their offensive pressure trying to take the advantage in the second half of play. The Rangers outshot the Wildcats 13-5 in the second half, including seven tries on-goal. UWP also added five corner kick opportunities in the first half.

It was the most shot attempts faced by the Wildcats in a half this season, but the Wildcat defense managed to keep the Rangers without a goal. Neither team could seal a victory in 90 minutes of action forcing overtime to try and find a winner.

  OVERTIME

NMU advanced to overtime for the first time this season and their first time since October 15, 2017 when they played to a 3-3 draw at Ashland University.

In the first 10-minute overtime period, the Wildcats managed a pair of shots from junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England) early in the period. Parkside would attempt a shot with less than a minute to play, but NMU managed to deflect the shot to force double-overtime.

Again, it was the Wildcats with an early shot attempt, this time from freshman midfielder Kaffie Kurz (Paynesville, Liberia) It was the only shot attempt NMU would record in the period, but they did manage to stop both of the Ranger shot attempts late in the match.

Neither team would manage to find the back of the net, forcing a scoreless draw, the first in Wildcat history. The draw means both NMU and UWP remain the lone unbeaten squads in GLIAC.

  SHOT LEADERS

Four Wildcats led the NMU offensive attack with a pair of shot attempts in the match. Junior midfielder Nick Metcalfe (Royal Oak, Michigan) and junior defender Lewis Murray (Edinburgh, Scotland) each attempted a pair of shots including one on-goal. Junior defender Edgar Astorga (Chicago, Illinois) and Olpin also each attempted two shots.

Five more Wildcats attempted one shot with senior defender Kevin Hoof (Grove, Minnesota) and senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) putting their shots on-target.

  ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET

Freshman goalkeeper Valentin Kliebe (Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany) garnered the start and finished the match with nine saves, including seven in the second half. Kliebe picked up his first solo shutout in the match to go along with two more combined shutouts this season. He now leads the GLIAC with a .028 goals against average and a .950 save percentage after allowing just one goal in nearly 326 minutes of action.

Kliebe and the rest of the Wildcats defense have now held their opponents scoreless for more than three-consecutive matches. The NMU defense has shutout their opponents over the last 312:41 minutes of play and have not allowed a goal since September 14.

  NEXT UP

The Wildcats will hit the road next weekend for a pair of GLIAC matches. On Friday, NMU takes on Ashland University for a match under the lights beginning at 7 p.m. The team will then travel to Saginaw Valley State University for a 2:30 p.m. kick-off on Sunday.