CMU soccer rebounds from WMU loss with 1-0 victory over NIU
A sign of a good team is its ability to bounce back after a loss.
The Central Michigan women’s soccer team responded with a 1-0 victory over Northern Illinois on Sunday after losing to Western Michigan 1-0 on Friday.
“I think any time you respond with a win after a loss, it’s a good thing,” said head coach Neil Stafford. “But I thought it was kind of a weird weekend. I thought we played really well on Friday and lost, but played just okay today and won.”
The game remained scoreless throughout the first half before CMU opened the scoring early in the second. Sophomore Estee Outcalt scored her third goal of the season when she received a throw in from Bailey Brandon and took a sliding shot past the NIU goalkeeper.
“She came in and played well,” Stafford said. “It was good to see her have such a presence in the game.”
That was all the offense the Chippewas needed as goalkeeper Grace Labrecque earned her third shutout of the season.
“Grace was magnificent,” Stafford said. “She is the reason we ended up with three points today.”
Labrecque has allowed one goal in 566:26 of play this season.
CMU outshot NIU 18-7 and had three corner kicks in comparison to the Huskies’ four.
“There were definitely areas for us to improve on, but overall, we got the job done and I thought we did well in certain areas,” Outcalt said.
The Chippewas improved their record to 11-2-3 overall and 5-1-2 in the Mid-American Conference while the Huskies fall to 2-12-2 overall and 1-7 in conference play.
On Friday, WMU avenged its MAC Tournament loss to the Chippewas last season.
Despite carrying the play for most of the game, CMU could not find the back of the net.
“We dominated the game,” Stafford said. “But when you get people within the six-yard box and not finishing their chances, it’s just really frustrating.”
WMU junior Brittney Pavlica scored the winner in the 33rd minute after one-timing a long ball behind goalkeeper Stefanie Turner.
The Chippewas had numerous opportunities to tie the game, but could not score the equalizer.
“I am happy with how we played,” Stafford said. “But we just have to finish.”
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