Women’s soccer will begin its march toward another Mid-American Conference West Division title when it opens the season against at 5 p.m. Sunday against Detroit.
CMU defeated Detroit last season, 1-0, in it’s opening game on the road. This time, the Chippewas will open the season at the CMU Soccer Complex.
Last season the Titans finished tied for first in the Horizon League with a 5-2 conference record. Detroit is 2-8-2 all time against CMU.
Head Coach Peter McGahey said the team is looking forward to this first game and using some positive energy from their win against Michigan State last week to help them against UDM.
“I think the team is very excited,” McGahey said. “The positive momentum we’ve been able to carry forward from the Michigan State game last week will help us when we play Detroit on Sunday.”
The Chippewas finished first in the MAC West last season with a 10-2 conference record, 15-7-1 overall.
Detroit was one of the better defensive teams in the Horizon League with a 0.71 goals against average last season to go along with nine shutouts and 12 goals allowed. CMU also had a solid defense last season, ranking first in goals against average at 0.89 and shutouts with 12.
The team will counter that strong defensive attack with an offense that had 382 shots on goal last season, which was second in the MAC. In addition, the team was fourth in points (89) and third in goals (33).
McGahey said the team is still working on some things in practice, both defensively and offensively, in terms of approach and strategy this season.
“We’re still working on putting in some of our ideas of how we want to attack and defend,” McGahey said. “Offensively I would like us to keep control of the ball. Again, I think Michigan State provided us a good test, but it certainly showed us some things we need to work on in order to continue to improve.”
One of the biggest challenges coming into this season was finding a new goalkeeper. Stefanie Turner ranked at the top of the MAC last season in shutouts with 11 in 20 games. Junior Grace Labrecque will look to step up this season in that role.
Labrecque ranks sixth all-time in career shut-outs with four and seventh all-time in career wins with seven. She played in six games last season and had a 1.33 GAA.
Her team will once against begin a tough stretch of non-conference games to begin the season in preparation for the MAC season. McGahey said Sunday’s game against the Titans should be a challenge for his team and said they are looking forward to it.
“We’re approaching the Detroit game with a lot of respect and are looking forward to a tough game from them on Sunday,” McGahey said.