NMU Loses Heartbreaker to GVSU in GLIAC Championship

The Lakers controlled play for much of the first half, taking a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Published: Nov. 6, 2022 at 8:09 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University women’s soccer team fell just short in the GLIAC Tournament Championship on Sunday despite an incredible second-half effort, losing to the Grand Valley State Lakers 2-1. The Lakers controlled play for much of the first half, taking a 1-0 lead into halftime. After making it 2-0 in the 50th minute, the Wildcats were in a deep hole. However, NMU had no quit, as Molly Pistorius made it 2-1 just four minutes later as the Wildcats dominated the rest of the second half. Despite several chances and attacks to the net down the stretch, NMU couldn’t find the equalizer and dropped a heartbreaker, 2-1. Brooke Pietila, Gwen Kiilunen, and Molly Pistorius were selected to the GLIAC All-Tournament team following the match.

After a modest start to the game that took nearly five minutes for each side to settle in, GVSU pegged the first shot on goal in the 6th minute, seeing a Shenae Kreps save. NMU saw the first corner opportunity in the 13th minute and Maria Storm was able to get a foot on it for a hook-around shot, but it sailed wide. GVSU came back with a corner kick of their own minutes later, but a header attempt from GVSU’s Kennedy Bearden pushed above the woodwork. Nearing the halfway point of the half, Brooke Pietila saw the best opportunity to date, firing a shot that was redirected by the keeper as she got to the ground for the save.

A string of bad luck hit the Wildcats in the 22nd minute, as a kick bounced up into the hands of an NMU defender in the defensive box, leading to the Lakers converting on a penalty kick from Brooke Russell for a 1-0 lead. The Lakers continued to apply their top-level attack to the NMU defense, spending much of the half in their middle and attacking thirds. The Wildcats struggled to string together passes to push their attack. With 20+ mph gusts at their backs, timing on passes was an issue to get the ball from one NMU foot to another. GVSU led in total shots in the first half 7-5 and shots on goal 2-1. Each side had a pair of corner kicks.

The first five minutes of the half was all Wildcats, including a great left-footed look from Brenna Musser that was pushed wide. As seen in sports time and time again, the Lakers came down the other way and got a lead-cushioning goal from Taylor Reid in the 50th minute. Soon after in the 54th minute, Brooke Pietila fired a shot on goal that the keeper had trouble with and Molly Pistorius attacked the net and pushed the ball to the back of the net to pull NMU back within a goal. NMU controlled the next ten minutes of play, finding several chances in the attacking third but unable to finish it off for a tying goal.

GVSU nearly got their two-goal lead back by coming back the other way in the 67th minute, but the open net was missed as the ball ricocheted off the crossbar. NMU put forth passion and incredible effort down the stretch but were unable to find the equalizer falling just short to the Lakers, 2-1.

The Wildcats will await to see if their name is called for the NCAA Tournament in the NCAA Selection Show that will air Monday, November 7th at 7 p.m. ET on NCAA.com A link to the show will be on the front page of NCAA.com