Stafford calls 2-0 soccer loss to Purdue the ‘worst team effort’ of his CMU career
The bus ride from Indiana back to Mount Pleasant was a time for reassessment for the women’s soccer team after a 2-0 loss to Purdue on Wednesday.
Gathered in the back of the bus, the team hashed out why they lost to Purdue and how to move forward.
Head coach Neil Stafford said the chat was necessary after witnessing what he labeled the “worst team effort” he has seen since coaching the program.
The team needed to be honest and open to get ready for what is really important, Stafford said.
“If it takes a loss to Purdue and an absolutely horrendous team effort to get them refocused, I’ll take that 2-0 loss any day of the year,” Stafford said.
Senior defender Katie Slaughter said the team doesn’t want to forget the game but also doesn’t want to dwell on it.
Talking about their struggles as a team and as individuals helps everyone progress, Slaughter said.
“We were just talking on the bus about how to achieve our goals and move forward,” she said. “I think it’s important to have intensity, so when we go into a (Mid-American Conference) game next Friday, we are ready to win every game.”
Although Purdue only had three shots on goal, compared to CMU’s seven, the Boilermakers made theirs count.
The game was scoreless at halftime, but Purdue added a goal by sophomore midfielder Taylor Niewoit ten minutes into the second half.
An easy tap in by sophomore midfielder Chinyelu Asher in the 73rd minute extended the lead.
“It was a really, really poor second half,” Stafford said. “People were working as individuals. It looked like we just got off the plane from traveling to Texas and went straight to play in Indiana.”
Freshman forward Danielle Rotheram led the team in shot attempts with four, followed by junior forward Morgan Wilcoxon and sophomore forward Laura Gosse, who each contributed three shots.
Slaughter said in the beginning of the second half, the team started strong but couldn’t find a way to get the ball in the back of the net.
“We worked really hard physically, but our technical ability lacked and ultimately cost us,” she said.
The Chippewas have some time off before their next game on Sept. 21 at home against Kent State.
Coming off a non-conference schedule filled with a lot of travel, Stafford said the team will regroup before their next competition.
“We’re absolutely going to take a break and lick our wounds from some of these games,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we did great in that non-conference schedule, but we did well. I’m happy but not satisfied. Purdue’s outcome wasn’t a great way to end, but we’ll keep sight on what’s important here.”
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