CMU field hockey aims to erase fourth place finishes in MAC
The Central Michigan field hockey team this weekend looks end its run of fourth place finishes in the Mid-American Conference.
“It would be awesome. We would be very excited,” said sophomore Juliana Makrinos. “It would mean so much more to us than being stuck where we’ve always been.”
Standing in CMU’s path are Kent State and Miami, which have combined to win every regular season Mid-American Conference championship in those five years.
The Chippewas will earn a No. 2 seed with a win over one of the two perennial powers.
CMU head coach Cristy Freese said a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament is critical after a slate of road games in the last week of the season.
The Chippewas are three games behind Ohio and two games ahead of three teams in a logjam in the standings.
CMU lost 4-3 in double overtime to the Golden Flashes after surrendering a 3-1 lead in their first matchup of the season.
“We need to just keep our intensity, keep up our focus and not let them get back like they did,” Makrinos said.
Freese does not plan on making many adjustments from the previous game.
“Two key things we knew before that game and after that game was Kent State relies on penalty corners and they rely on Debbie Bell,” Freese said. “Both of those things were the reason that Kent (State) won that game here.”
Bell has 20 goals as well as four assists this season. The senior sits 11th in goals scored in NCAA history.
The Bobcats have been in a league of their own this year.
Five OU players who have at least 20 points are equal to the number of 20-point scorers the five other Mid-American Conference teams have collectively.
The Bobcats also have 13th ranked goalkeeper Jen McGill behind their high-octane offense.
“They’re tough to score against,” Freese said. “There’s not a lot of room for error against OU and you’ve got to capitalize on your opportunities.”
Freese thinks freshman Cayleigh Immelman should be considered for MAC Freshman of the Year.
She also added it will most likely be based on how well CMU performs, however. Immellman has 11 goals and seven assists in her first season with the Chippewas.
CMU has earned the distinction as the least penalized team in the MAC with one yellow card entering the last two games of the season.
“We know the rules and we treat the empires with respect,” Freese said. “Our team needs to get stronger physically so we don’t get pushed off the ball, but I’m never going to teach a team to be a dirty team.”
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