After opening conference play with a 2-0 record, women’s soccer hopes to carry that momentum into this weekend at home against two rivals.
CMU will host Western Michigan at 4 p.m. today and Eastern Michigan at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Soccer Complex.
“We always think that balance is key,” said head coach Peter McGahey. “I think that one of the challenges with a team like ours is if you only get scoring from one or two people it won’t be beneficial to the team, and I think the balance we have shown is the product you see on the field right now.”
Coming into the weekend, the Broncos and Eagles are both 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference, sharing first place with the Chippewas and Ball State.
Juniors Emily Cooksey and Grace Labrecque have been key contributors this season. Cooksey leads CMU in goals (two), points (four) and shots (21), while Labrecque has started five games in goal, posting a 2-2-1 record to go along with a .793 save percentage.
WMU is one of the best offensive teams in the conference, scoring 13 goals in its last three games, all victories.
“You have the two best offensive teams in the conference,” McGahey said. “We’ve played some really good offensive teams before and we just have to play our game. We spend a lot of time worrying about us, and the focus is on polishing up the things we need to do and controlling what we can control.”
Defensively, the Broncos have given up 11 goals in 11 games this season, having outshot their opponents 155-91.
McGahey said he thinks the CMU defense is coming together at the right time.
“We think our collective spirit defensively is very good, and I thought our resiliency in both those games last weekend with two different setups was really important,” McGahey said. “I thought to get a gritty win against Kent State and then to show that same resiliency after going down two goals to Ohio was key. I think that’s what is really important for us this weekend.”
EMU is one of the best offensive teams in the MAC and is on a four game winning streak.
It has scored 17 goals in its last four games and is averaging 2.50 goals per game this season.
Although the team has lost a few leaders due to injury, McGahey is confident others will step up this weekend.
“You never know who is going to step up,” McGahey said. “The key is in order for someone else to step up, and I think you’re seeing how players fit on this team with the season now well under way. It’s certainly good to see.”