The SVSU women’s soccer team moved its record to 5-4-1 on the season after taking on Upper Peninsula foes Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan.
The Cardinals topped Michigan Tech on Friday, Sept. 29, before drawing against Northern Michigan on Sunday, Oct. 1. Northern was only 2-6-1 entering the contest.
Friday, the Cardinals took on Michigan Tech looking for revenge after a 2-1 overtime loss in non-conference action earlier this season. This time around, SVSU came out on top to beat the Huskies, 1-0, for the first time in six years.
“Tech is a team that will always create chances,” head coach Michael O’Neill said.
“They get numbers on the attack very effectively, and we did a great job of nullifying that. Our defensive pressure and intensity turned out to be the difference.”
Senior defender Ingrid Hannevig attributed Friday’s win to the team’s preparation and mindset, along with the talent on the field.
The first half of the game was defensive battle. Neither team was able to create effective chances at a goal. Saginaw Valley narrowly led the shot count 3-2.
“We’ve had some injuries and other situations that we have had to make some line-up changes in the back,” Hannevig said. “But our chemistry throughout the team has helped that transition be smooth. We are really playing well.”
The second half saw an offensive kick start. Saginaw Valley was the first to find their offense after sophomore midfielder Valentina Giambanco put two shots towards the net in the first five minutes of the half.
Both teams traded blows, but no one found the knockout punch until the 78th minute, when sophomore forward Whitney Flemming knocked in her third goal of the season on a penalty kick.
“Coming off of a losing streak is always tough,” O’Neill said. “But (Friday), we had a change in mindset. We never felt as if we were out of the game; our team was always in it and battled to the end. Hopefully we can continue that mindset continuing on into GLIAC play.”
The Cardinals weren’t so lucky Sunday, settling for a 0-0 draw against Northern Michigan. SVSU outshot NMU 33-10 but was unable to find the back of the net on any attempts. Flemming had eight shots in the match, including three on goal. Goalkeeper Isabel Bauer made three saves for SVSU.
Next week, SVSU hosts both Davenport on Friday, Oct. 6, and Purdue Northwest on Sunday, Oct. 8. Both games are set to begin at noon.