The CMU soccer team picked up its first home victory this season when the Chippewas defeated Toledo 1-0, Friday afternoon.
Freshman midfielder Samantha Maher’s first half penalty kick goal boosted CMU (3-9-1) to a 3-2 record in Mid-American Conference play this year.
“All of our teamwork today paid off,” Maher said after scoring her first career goal as a Chippewa. “It feels good. I practiced (penalty kicks) the other day. When they called my name to take the kick, I was nervous. But I was able to get it done.”
Maher was called on for the penalty kick after team leading scorer Emily Cooksey was blatantly tripped after clearing the Toledo defense.
Cooksey, who sat out the last ten minutes of the game as well as the duration of CMU’s 3-0 loss to Eastern last week, finished with one strong shot on goal vs. Toledo.
“We don’t typically practice (penalty kicks),” head coach Peter McGahey said. “But what we have been working on is the play leading up to that penalty. We want to make sure that the movement and the support from the passing is rewarded and it was today.”
The Chippewas made it interesting down the stretch, however.
Toledo was able to put together three noble scoring chances within the last five minutes of play.
The flurry of offense from the Rockets culminated in a rebounding shot, which found CMU goalkeeper Grace Labrecque out of position with three minutes remaining.
Thankfully for CMU, senior defensemen Estee OutCalt made the save for the Chippewas, disbanding the Rockets’ scoring chance and securing the victory.
“It got a little too hectic today at the end,” Labrecque said. “It was a great play by Estee. Sometimes you just have to rely on your teammates to help you out.”
For the second straight weekend, CMU will host a second MAC opponent in three days when Northern Illinois comes to town Sunday at 1 p.m.
Read Monday’s Central Michigan Life to find out how the Chippewas fared in their second game this weekend.