The women’s soccer team announced some dreadful news on Wednesday.
Two senior leaders, midfielder Kaely Schlosser (knee) and forward Jennifer Gassman (lower leg) will both miss the remainder of the season with their respective injuries, according to head coach Peter McGahey.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for both of them and it’s difficult,” McGahey said. “But the severity of both of their injuries is real, so we are going to have to lose them.”
Schlosser was injured Aug. 26 in the Chippewas home opener against Detroit. Gassman fell in a 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday.
After a disappointing trip to the east coast last weekend, CMU (0-2-1), heads to the opposite side of the country this weekend in search of its first victory of the season.
As part of the Nike Portland Invitational, the Chippewas will play games Friday at 7 p.m. against Portland and Sunday at noon against Washington.
“The key is you have to get better from game to game,” McGahey said. “We have to realize that what are trying to do is learn how to climb a mountain halfway up the mountain.”
McGahey cited ball possession and offensive aggressiveness as aspects of his team’s strategy more heavily harped on during practice this week.
The Chippewas have scored just two goals in three games this year, and have two solid opponents waiting for them when they arrive in Oregon.
Portland (2-0-1) heads into the invitational ranked 16th in Soccer America’s Top 25 rankings. The Pilots tied No. 2 Stanford in Palo Alto last weekend.
Washington (1-3-0) lost both of its games at home last weekend and is looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance in their most recent action.
“We are looking forward to the experience above all else,” McGahey said. “You always want to play against teams that are going to test you. Both of those teams are going to test us, but we are not afraid. We have made some improvements and are eager to go out and find (a win).”
Last weekend, the Chippewas started freshman Heather Laeufer in goal. She gave up four goals on 17 shots against West Virginia.
Junior goalkeeper Grace Labrecque started CMU’s home opener against Detroit and gave up just two goals on 23 shots.
McGahey did not say who will start in goal at the Portland Invitational this weekend.
Junior midfielder Emily Cooksey leads the team in shots (10) heading into this weekends action but has yet to score.
One of the few consistent aspects of the team’s performance this season has been its stingy defense, especially late in games. CMU has allowed only a combined three second-half goals this season.
“You have to make adjustments over time during a game,” McGahey said. “Any time you can say, ‘Hey, if we can hold teams out …’ we are going to certainly gain confidence in that.”