The women’s soccer team sealed its Mid-American Conference Tournament fate as the number-two seed on Thursday in Bowling Green, Ohio with a 4-0 victory over Bowling Green.
After a slow first 20 minutes of play, with only one shot recorded for both teams, senior forward Samantha Brenz added her first goal of the season with a header in the 20th minute.
“We were disappointed with our first 45 minutes, but I was very pleased with how we responded in the second 45 minutes,” head coach Neil Stafford said. “A lot of people came in and contributed.”
Junior forward Nicole Samuel scored her second goal of the season to put CMU up 2-0 within the first four minutes. The Chippewas continued with a relentless offensive attack, compiling three more shots on net in the next ten minutes.
“In the second half, we showed more composure,” freshman Christen Chiesa said. “We were able to do the simple things, which allowed us to step up our game and play like a unit.”
BGSU’s freshman goalkeeper Jenna Underwood did her best to suppress the persistent offense of CMU, but, in the 80th minute, sophomore forward Laura Gosse added her third goal of the season.
The Chippewas, with four minutes left, added a fourth goal by senior forward Charlese Mclemore.
“It felt really good to score that goal,” she said. “I was able to make the most out of my opportunity.”
The win was the senior class’ 61st, making them the highest-winning class in program history.
“I think our class deserves the recognition, because we have worked so hard,” Brenz said. “It’s an honor, and we’re pumped about holding this title. But we’re also excited for the next class to get to this level.”
The seniors and the team have no time to revel, because tournament play starts this weekend, and, despite securing the number-two seed, it offers no security.
The Chippewas begin tournament play against Northern Illinois at noon Sunday.
“(The) fact is, you’re playing a one-game season in the tournament,” Stafford said. “Seed doesn’t matter. Anyone can beat anyone. You just have to focus on the game.”
Seniors on the team have been to the tournament before and feel that it gives them certain advantages.
“I think we have a mental edge over some teams,” Brenz said. “Home-field advantage also helps, but it really doesn’t matter going into the tournament. Any team can win.”