The Central Michigan women’s soccer team clinched a share of the Mid-American Conference west title in a 2-0 win over Ball State Sunday in dominate fashion.
Senior midfielder Autumn Hawkins scored her second game-winning goal in the past three games, with a header sent into the top of the net ten minutes into the second half. The goal was assisted by senior defenseman Bailey Brandon and sophomore forward Laura Gosse.
Hawkins and the rest of the team attempted to block out Friday’s loss to MAC East leader Miami (Ohio).
“We were still a little upset, but we wanted to focus and not think about Friday,” Hawkins said. “We just want to take it a game at a time.”
The Chippewas were quick to strike again, adding a second goal four minutes after the header. Junior midfielder Kaely Schlosser finished on a free kick from the left side of the field for CMU’s second and final goal.
“We dominated the second half; we got a hold of the game,” head coach Neil Stafford said. “As the game went on, I felt like our team got stronger. Our combination play was especially good today.”
CMU out-shot BSU 13-5 in the second half and 22-9 for the game. However, the game was more evenly played when it came to shots on goal. The Chippewas had seven chances on net, but the Cardinals were right behind with five.
Despite the almost even number of chances on goal, the game was not as closely played. The Chippewas commanded the game as it went on, though it remained physical by both parties. Twenty-eight fouls were called between the two teams.
“It was a physical game, but it was fair and competitive,” Stafford said. “I thought there were some moments where the refs could have taken better control, but we remained well-disciplined.”
With a season-defining game against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, CMU came just short, losing 1-0 in a hard-fought double-overtime battle Friday at the CMU soccer complex.
The loss was CMU’s first at home since 2008.
“It is what it is,” Stafford said. “I’m just disappointed for the ladies. Every year, there’s a class that doesn’t come back, and your heart bleeds for them.”
CMU (12-5-1) will travel to Bowling Green (2-16-1) Thursday to take on the Falcons at Cochrane Soccer Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio. A victory Thursday would set the Chippewas up with the second seed in the MAC Tournament, which begins Sunday.
Emily Grove contributed to the report.