MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer replaces their first graduating class and will look for players to step up into new roles this season as the Wildcats look to reach their third-straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
NMU returns 10 players who appeared in at least 10 games with seven of them starting at least 10. Due to injuries, many more players were forced into new positions as the season progressed. The benefit to this is the fact that many players can now fill multiple roles, allowing for significant depth this year.
The Wildcats return three starting defenders from last season who helped guide the team to a stretch that saw the team shutout opponents for five-straight matches and allowed the second fewest goals in the conference. Anchoring the defense will be seniors Lewis Murray (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Eric Suess (Ludwigsburg, Germany) and junior Isaac Wigermo (Gothenburg, Sweden).
Offensively, the squad will lead on senior Callum Olpin (Norwich, England) and junior Ben Hoffman (Petoskey, Mich.) as they both finished tied for second last year with four goals each. After finishing second in the league in goals scored, they will also rely on new threats to contribute as well.
In the GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Wildcats received 21 points, ahead of new member Upper Iowa University. University of Wisconsin Parkside was received the most points with 41 points and two first place votes. Right behind was Saginaw Valley State University who tallied the most first place votes with four and finished with 40 points.
Northwood University had 33 points while Ashland University was fourth with 32 points and one first place vote. Davenport University also received a first-place vote while receiving 25 points. Purdue University Northwest had 22 points for sixth place.
The Wildcats kick off the season by hosting the University of Southern Indiana on Thursday, September 5.