No tourney bid for soccer team for first time in three seasons
The Central Michigan women’s soccer team will watch the first round of the NCAA Tournament from home for the first time in three seasons.
The Chippewas had hopes for a third-straight bid into the NCAA Tournament dashed on Monday when they were left out of the field of 64.
CMU appeared to be on its way to what would have been a Mid-American Conference record third-straight tournament appearance, but its 1-0 loss to Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament semifinals turned out to be enough to exclude the Chippewas.
“I think we struggled a bit getting going,” said head coach Neil Stafford after the loss. “I thought Western Michigan had great energy and they really controlled parts of the game.”
The Chippewa’s rival from Kalamazoo had their number this season, being the only MAC team to defeat CMU. WMU also won the regular season meeting on Oct. 14.
“Full credit to Western,” Stafford said.” But I feel like this is one that got away from us with all the pressure and opportunities we had.”
Even with the loss, CMU still had a chance to make the tournament as an at-large team. The Chippewas had wins over power conference teams such as Pittsburgh, Louisville and Wisconsin.
CMU finished the season ranked 53rd in the country.
If the Chippewas would have made the tournament, it would have been the first at-large bid the MAC has ever received. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be.
“We have had a quality program the last couple years,” Stafford said. “You could say we have had a great year, but it all comes down to conference play.”
CMU finishes its season with a record of 15-3-3.