Soccer wraps up regular season at EMU; can win MAC title with win, Toledo loss
The Central Michigan women’s soccer team has a chance to do something that no other team in the Mid-American Conference has ever done: Win three-straight MAC regular season titles.
CMU has to defeat in-state rival Eastern Michigan in the regular season finale at 3 p.m. Thursday at Scicluna Field in Ypsilanti and hope Ball State can defeat MAC-leading Toledo to earn the honor.
But the Chippewas are focused on taking care of their own business, not on what Toledo is doing.
“We’re just focused on Eastern right now,” head coach Neil Stafford said. “This time last year we were in the same situation we are now where we had to rely on another team to beat Toledo.”
Last season, the Rockets were undefeated going into the final game, but lost 1-0 to Ball State, allowing CMU to claim a share of the MAC regular season title.
“Last year Ball State was much weaker than they are this year and they managed to win,” Stafford said. “I don’t know how, but I’m sure Toledo isn’t going to want to let that happen again.”
EMU comes into Thursday’s game with three wins conference play and must get three points to have a chance to make the MAC Tournament.
“They have to win to get in,” Stafford said. “They’re going to be bang up for a game that’s for sure. We need to focus on Thursday.”
The Eagles are led by freshman forward Angela Vultaggio, who has six goals and one assist this season. Fellow freshman, Bianca Rossi, has four goals and one assist, including the two goals she scored in Friday’s 5-1 victory over Ball State.
The Chippewas have featured a balanced scoring attack all season long. They have five players who have scored at least three goals and are led by junior Ashley Mejilla’s four goals, including Friday’s winner against UT.
CMU welcomed back last season’s leading scorer, Laura Twidle, last weekend. She played a season-high 49 minutes against Ball State and will provide depth to an already deep offense.
“Our plan is to prepare for Eastern,” Stafford said. “They’re going to be ready to go. Hopefully we will learn from this weekend. This is the stuff that helps us prepare for the tournament.”
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