The men’s soccer team defeated rival Northwood University at home this weekend, 1-0. The competition against Northwood is considered one of the most important matchups of the year for the team, as both squads have long been competitive on the national level.
Going into the game, both teams were tied for second in the GLIAC with identical records. Both had an overall record of 6-3-1 prior to the day, and matching GLIAC records of 4-2.
The Cardinals started the game strong. Junior Gaye Diadie had not yet played Northwood before, but knew the importance of the rivalry.
“We were unbelievable during the first 20 minutes,” Diadie said. “We really wanted to win that game since it’s a rivalry.”
The first goal of the match came early. Only five minutes in and The Cardinals were given a free kick.
Junior Robbie Bruce capitalized on the opportunity, kicking the ball towards the net, where it bounced off several players before it eventually passed by Northwood’s goaltender.
With both teams having stellar defenses, there would be no more goals and only nine more shots on goal the rest of the game. Five of those shots came from The Cardinals.
As the game continued, both sides competed to move the ball around with little progress.
This would eventually begin to frustrate The Timberwolves, who started to be overall aggressive.
This led to five yellow cards given to Northwood, four of which came in the second half. Northwood ended the game with nine fouls versus only six given to Saginaw.
The game finished with a score of 1-0 in The Cardinals favor.
Diadie credits this to the team’s strong defense in the second half.
“We’ve been really solid on the back during the 2nd half,” Diadie said. “We are so we happy with the win and how we played.”
The win now puts The Cards ahead of Northwood in the GLIAC standings. Davenport and Parkside are currently atop the standings.
The Cardinals will have a chance to offset their early season loss to Davenport on Sunday, Oct. 20.
Next up for The Cardinals is a trip to Ashland University to take on the Eagles on Friday, Oct. 18.