CMU field hockey travels to N.C. for a pair of non-conference games this weekend
Distance shouldn’t be a problem for the Central Michigan field hockey team.
Head coach Cristy Freese won’t let it happen.
The team travels to Durham, N.C. this weekend to face Appalachian State at 11 a.m. on Saturday and No. 5 Duke at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The distance of 828 miles is CMU’s farthest travel, but Freese is not letting the team lose focus on the upcoming games.
“We only have four more games before the Mid-American Conference Tournament, so every game is very important,” Freese said. “I feel confident that the team is prepared and traveling shouldn’t factor in our performance.”
The Chippewas are coming of last weekend’s sweep and have confidence after moving back into second in the MAC standings with a 7-7 record.
“I really don’t pay attention to our record and wins and losses,” Freese said. “I focus on one game at a time. The past is the past and I’m not going to waste my time thinking what could have been.”
This week Freese held a closed practice Tuesday to help the team prepare for a strong push into the last stage of the 2011 season. The team has continued its focus on improving defensively and playing with intensity in the beginning of games.
“We are getting better, but we still have areas where we can improve,” Freese said. “We have to be on our A game in every game because that’s what it’s going to take this team to win.”
The offense will continue to count on the leadership of senior captain Paulina Lee, the aggressiveness of junior Erin Dye and the execution of freshman Cayleigh Immelman.
The Mountaineers carry a (1-13) record. One of the losses came from North Carolina in a 12-0 loss. They come into Saturday’s game on a seven-game losing streak.
The No. 5 Bluedevils are (7-4) and defeated No. 1 Old Dominion last Sunday.
“Duke is a good team and we are going to have to play one hundred percent each half,” Lee said. “Their win over Old Dominion was impressive, but we can compete and win against the elite teams.”
The Bluedevils defense has allowed 19 goals and their offense is lead by sophomore Emmie Le Merchand, who has 12 goals and 30 points.
Lee was awarded the State Farm Scholar-Athlete of the Week after her one goal, two assist performance last weekend. This was the second time Lee earned the award this season.
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