CMU soccer beats EMU 1-0; finishes second in MAC West
The Central Michigan women’s soccer team knew it was a must-win situation coming into Thursday’s match against Eastern Michigan.
If it had any hopes at winning the regular season Mid-American Conference title for the third-straight season, it had to defeat EMU and hope Ball State could upend Toledo.
The Chippewas took care of their own business by defeating the Eagles 1-0 in Ypsilanti, but finished second in the MAC West division after Toledo clinched the title with a 2-0 victory.
“It just proves to you that if you don’t take care of business, you are not going to be that champion,” said head coach Neil Stafford. “Full credit to Toledo, they obviously took care of business when they had to.”
The game was also a must-win for EMU if it had any chance of making the MAC Tournament.
Senior defender Claire Horton opened the scoring 32:44 minutes in, after she fired a shot that deflected off an Eagles defender and found the back of the net. It was Horton’s second goal of the season, both of which have come in the last two games. Juniors Laura Twidle and Katie Slaughter assisted on the goal.
Both CMU goalkeepers combined for their fourth consecutive shutout and 13th of the season. Junior Stefanie Turner started in goal and was replaced by redshirt freshman Grace Labrecque in the second half.
“They were unbelievable,” Stafford said. “Steph did well today and Grace was absolutely magnificent.”
Despite the abysmal field conditions, Labrecque made six saves to seal the victory for CMU.
The team is now 4-9-2 all time versus EMU.
“I think we had a really successful season, regardless of not winning the regular season (MAC Championship),” Horton said. “But I think we are really prepared for the tournament, which is the most important thing.”
The Chippewas received the No. 2 seed and now host No. 7 Akron at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Stafford reiterated the importance of capitalizing on scoring chances and its success in the tournament relies on its ability to score goals.
“We definitely have quality players in offensive positions, they just have to show more consistency,” Stafford said.
Although CMU failed to win its third-straight MAC regular season title, it looks to earn its third-straight NCAA Tournament bid by winning the MAC Tournament.
“We just have to take it one game at a time and continue to play our game,” Labrecque said.
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