MARQUETTE, Mich- Following last week’s start to the fall semester, every Northern Michigan University coach was faced with an obstacle: how can you balance out the need for practice with an already jam-packed 5-6-class schedule that student athletes endure? This dilemma is one that sweeps the country every year. Student athletes often get 1-2 weeks of prioritizing practice and practice only before jumping into the school year. However, with games beginning the same time as classes, nearly every result imaginable came to fruition over the weekend.

NMU Football

Let’s begin with the most viewed competition so far this NMU school year. First year Wildcats Football Head Coach Shane Richardson excitedly mentioned the players’ physical turnaround after delivering a few players a “rude awakening” at last Tuesday’s NMU Athletics Press Conference. However, it is clear that a lot more work is needed out of this group of young men. In their first game since 2022, the NMU Wildcats lost to the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Football Program 47-10. They lost the first quarter 20-0, and never closed the deficit within 10. 

NMU’s execution was abysmal on both sides of the football. Quarterback Mariano Valenti completed over 68% of his passes, but only progressed the ball under 5.5 yards per attempt, while throwing two interceptions and a pick six. UMD QB Kyle Walljasper outshined the up to expectations (at best) performance by Valenti, finishing with 3 touchdown passes on only 15 throws and 8 completions. The Wildcats defense allowed Walljasper to look like 2009 Tim Tebow on the run. The UMD ball-slinger picked up 149 yards on his feet and two touchdowns, including a 33 yard masterpiece. 

The Wildcats’ next football match is against Lake Erie College at home next Saturday, September 9 at 2PM ET

NMU Soccer (Women’s)

Coming off a 4-3 win over Minnesota-Duluth, the NMU Women’s Soccer Program only got better. They deflated St. Cloud St. 3-0 on Sunday. The Wildcats improve to 2-0 on the season, while the Huskies drop to 1-1.

Hannah Kastamo, who appeared in all 22 games last year, was the story of this game. She scored two goals for the Wildcats on four shots on target. 

The difference-maker this game was the discrepancy between the two teams in shots taken. NMU took 17 shots to St. Cloud St.’s four.

The next game for the ladies of NMU soccer will be on Friday, September 8 at 5PM ET against Lewis in Romeoville, Illinois.

NMU Soccer (Men’s)

The men’s soccer program did not show out the way that the women did offensively, but still got the job done against Quincy at home, winning 1-0.
NMU’s singular goal came at the hands, or in this case foot, of Tommaso Lami in the 69th minute via penalty kick. It was a physical, chippy game for the Wildcats, who totaled five yellow cards. Thankfully, no red cards were assessed during this game.

The 1-1 men’s team will face Lewis September 7th at 4:30PM ET in Illinois. 

NMU Volleyball

Mike Lozier’s volleyball squad has lost three matches in a row after taking their season opening match at home to start the UP Open. After winning 3-1 vs. Minnesota Crookston, they have allowed losses of 0-3, 0-3 and 1-3, respectively. Their most recent opponent was Northwood on Saturday.

NMU will head to Duluth, Minnesota to participate in the Minnesota Duluth Tournament in hopes of turning their season around. Their next match will be against St. Cloud St. on Thursday, September 7 at 6PM ET.