Wildcats have four named to GLIAC Men's Soccer teams

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BAY CITY, Mi. Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer had four student-athletes named to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference all-league teams the conference office announced Thursday evening. Junior midfielder Callum Olpin (Norwich, England) and senior defender Kevin Hoof (Maple Grove, Minnesota) were named to the first team, while senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) received second team honors. Freshman midfielder Kaffie Kurz (Paynesville, Liberia) garnered honorable mention accolades.

With the Wildcats enjoying a breakout season on the pitch, Olpin enjoyed a breakout season of his own with career-highs in nearly every offensive category. He recorded four goals in 2018, three of which were game winners, and also added four assists to total 12 points. A three-goal, seven-point weekend earned Olpin his first weekly GLIAC honor on September 17.

Playing in 51 contests over three seasons, Hoof has been a mainstay in the Wildcats defense over the past three seasons. In 2018, he helped NMU hold their opponents to just 1.05 goals per game while also adding a goal and an assist on the offensive end. Hoof helped the Wildcats to six shutouts this season including five-consecutive to end the month of September.

The offensive leader for the Wildcats this season was Popp, who lead the team in nearly every offensive category. His 10 goals and 23 points both led the conference and were the most for an NMU student-athlete in the three-year history of the program. Popp was named the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week on October 15 after scoring three goals in a weekend.

Rounding out the all-conference honors is Kurz who appeared in every match during the season. He earned a pair of assists during 2018 including on against then-No. 19 Saginaw Valley State University that helped NMU to their second draw of the season against the Cardinals.

NMU finished the season with a .500 record for the first time in program history and advanced to the postseason for the second-consecutive season. The Wildcats also appeared in the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 poll for the first time in program history, reaching as high a No. 21.