Before an exhibition Sunday against Michigan State University, the soccer players stood at midfield in a half circle, their heads bowed in mourning.
The CMU soccer complex was silent.
It was the first time the team had publicly acknowledged and collectively mourned the death of its fallen teammate and friend, sophomore midfielder Josie Seebeck, who was killed in a car accident earlier this month.
Last weekend, the team announced there would be a 30-second moment of silence before each game in remembrance of Seebeck.
“That moment was focused. It was hard for us. Very difficult,” said head coach Peter McGahey. “It was a very nice tribute to Josie, and very important to our team.”
The Chippewas bested the Spartans 1-0 when sophomore defender Emily Basten scored with 1:16 remaining in overtime.
Basten said scoring the goal was much more than an on-field accomplishment for her team.
“This win was something positive for us,” she said. “We deserved that win. It was something we could control. Today was big for us.”
Basten, also a sophomore, fought back tears while describing what her team has gone through this month.
“It was only 30 seconds, but it meant the world to us as a team,” she said. “It shows how strong we are. We are able to get through this. We are trying to move forward.”
Moving forward is the message senior leaders on the team have preached in camp as the regular season opener against Detroit looms Aug. 25.
“Coach talks about a new normal all the time,” senior midfielder Torry Kinniard said. “We have accepted that new normal. But we aren’t going to let tragedy define us. At the end of the day, soccer is still soccer and that is what we are here to do.”
The team plans on placing patches on their jerseys to commemorate Seebeck this year. It will serve as a gesture of how her legacy will remain with the team all season long.
“There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about it,” McGahey said. “This win today was a major step in the right direction both in terms of soccer and emotional healing.”