Just one week after losing senior leader Kaely Schlosser to an undisclosed leg injury, the women’s soccer team received another demoralizing blow to its roster.
Senior forward Jennifer Gassman fell during CMU’s 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday and she, too, might be sidelined for quite some time.
Approximately 18 minutes into the game, Gassman collided with Panther goalkeeper Nicole D’Agostino and fell to the ground violently.
“I don’t have a definite prognosis on it yet, but it looks serious,” head coach Peter McGahey said. “We are probably going to lose her for a significant amount of time.”
Only a week into the season, Gassman was amongst the most productive Chippewas this year. She totaled four shots on goal, two points and one score in three games as of Sunday.
Last season, she tallied 10 points and four goals in 23 games played, as well as being named Academic All-MAC honorable mention.
Injuries have not been a problem in Gassman’s soccer career. She was one of nine Chippewas to appear in every match in 2010.
The results on the field weren’t much better for the team.
The Chippewas’ struggles started Friday night when CMU lost 4-0 to West Virginia.
Freshman goalkeeper Heather Laeufer was thrust into her first collegiate start, making just seven saves on the 17 Mountaineer shots she faced.
“I don’t think our women were overwhelmed,” McGahey said. “I think we came out of the gate and started really strong. So, there were some positives.”
The Chippewas also found it difficult generating a consistent attack on West Virginia, tallying only five shots in the game and only two in the opening period.
WVU was ranked No. 10 in the nation to begin the season.
“I think we really saw how solid of a team West Virginia is,” McGahey said. “They are legit.”
After a day off, the team headed to the University of Pittsburgh.
And CMU fell short yet again.
The Panthers dispelled the Chippewas 1-0 Sunday, in another offensively frustrating game.
Panther goalkeeper Nicole D’Agostino stopped all nine shots the Chippewas put on goal, including a late corner kick in the 89th minute that proved unsuccessful.
Among the exasperated Chippewas was the ever-aggressive junior midfielder Emily Cooksey who totaled four shots Sunday, including three on goal.
Laeufer showed an improved performance in goal, saving six of the seven shots the Panthers sent her way.
McGahey compared and contrasted Friday’s loss (by a large margin to a top national team), to Sunday’s loss (by a not-so large margin to a not-as-nationally-relevant team).
“There were some things that we were able to improve over the weekend,” McGahey said. “But I do think that West Virginia is very good, and that made the difference.”