Wildcats' Late Comeback Bid Falls Short

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UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. (WLUC) — Northern Michigan University Women's Soccer's (4-10-2, 1-7-0 GLIAC) second half comeback bid fell just shy with Saginaw Valley State University (11-3-2, 5-2-1 GLIAC) holding on for a 4-3 victory. The Wildcats have one match remaining in their 2018 regular season campaign.

PLENTY OF OFFENSE
The Cardinals netted the first goal of the match near the midway point of the opening half. They took a 1-0 lead with a score in the 20th-minute, but the advantage did not last long. Freshman midfielder Caroline Halonen (Hartland, Michigan) evened the match at one goal each just five minutes later on a penalty kick.

In the final minutes of the first half, SVSU regained the lead with a score in the 41st-minute of play. The would hold over the final four minutes of the half to send the Wildcats into the halftime intermission, trailing 2-1.

JENNA HALONEN'S RETURN
Sophomore forward Jenna Halonen (Howell, Michigan) made her return to the pitch on Friday after missing more than a month due to injury. It did not take long for last season's leading goal scorer to get back into her grove, netting her fourth score of the season.

After the Cardinals added two more goals near the middle of the second half, the Wildcats hit the comeback trail over the final 13 minutes. NMU attempted four shots over the span with Jenna Halonen scoring the team's first goal of the second half in the 78th-minute. Caroline Halonen recorded an assist on the score, her team-leading seventh of the season.

COMEBACK BID
Just three minutes later, Caroline Halonen netted her second goal of the game to cut the Cardinal's lead to one goal. It was her ninth score of the season, the most for a Wildcat since Paula Hafner's 14 goals in 2014. Jenna Halonen recorded her second assist of the season and third point of the match on the play which made it a 4-3 SVSU lead.

Despite the late offensive outburst, NMU could not tie the match over the final eight minutes, falling 4-3.

BETWEEN THE POSTS
Senior goaltender Emma Vermette (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) garnered the start in the match, playing nearly 72 minutes of action. She recorded six saves to bring her season total to 58, the fifth-most in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Her .795 save percentage is also fifth-best in the conference.

Sophomore goaltender Brianna Frontuto (Luxemburg, Wisconsin) entered the game late and made one save. It was the first action for Frontuto since September 23, while she sits atop the GLIAC goaltender stats with an .840 save percentage and 0.93 goals against average.

STAT LEADERS
Caroline Halonen was the lone Wildcat to attempt multiple shots on-goal in the match up with two, both of which found the back of the net. Four more Wildcats attempted a single shot on-goal including Jenna Halonen's second half goal. Freshman forwards Rachael Erste (Rockford, Michigan) and Taelor Moore (Warren, Michigan) each attempted one, as did senior midfielder Aimee Colla (Muskego, Wisconsin).

REGULAR SEASON FINALE
The 2018 regular season will come to an end on Friday when the Wildcats travel to Michigan Technological University for a 5 p.m. kick-off. The two teams met earlier this season in Marquette with the Huskies earning a 1-0 victory.