Head coach Erik Olson had a team meeting before talking to the media about his team’s three-match losing streak after the loss to Northern Illinois on Sept. 21.
He didn’t talk much about that meeting, but he thought the team’s expectations coming off a Mid-American Conference Championship was getting the best of them.
He assured the media that a different Central Michigan team would show up for the match the following night against MAC preseason favorite Western Michigan.
Whatever was said in that meeting, the Chippewas took to heart because they’ve won five-straight matches and have taken over sole possession of first place in the MAC West.
So, how do they stay on top?
CMU has to take it one game at a time, a little cliché but it’s true, and that is something that has helped the team get to where it is.
Olson has said how much better the MAC West is compared to the MAC East, and it’s true.
The Chippewas are 12-3 against MAC East opponents in the last two seasons, and that record has continued this season with a sweep against Kent State.
With that said, CMU has MAC East opponents in its next four matches (Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green, Buffalo and Akron) and it can’t afford to look past those teams.
The Falcons are unbeaten, which makes for a MAC West leader versus MAC East leader Saturday night at McGuirk Arena.
Besides that match, CMU’s opponents are a combined 4-14 in MAC play, so it could be easy to look past teams with those numbers.
What makes it easier to look past those teams is the harsh end to the MAC schedule that follows.
CMU has to travel to face the Huskies, Broncos and Eastern Michigan Eagles before hosting the Cardinals and MAC East–favorite Ohio.
The Chippewas have gotten off to good start, but they need to take it one game at a time if they want to repeat last season’s success.
But, taking things one game at time is nothing new to this team.
Just look at how they finished last year.