COLUMN: Crucial weekend for field hockey
The Central Michigan Field Hockey Complex: It could be a place where astounding goals are reached or a nose dive could ensue in the last two weeks of the regular season.
The Chippewas have two home conference games remaining.
They could win both and earn at least a share of the Mid-American Conference championship on Oct. 27 or lose both and fail to make it to the conference tournament.
The Chippewas sit in the clogged MAC, tied for first with three teams – Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio – each holding a 2-1 conference record.
Missouri State is right behind them in fifth place with a 2-2 record, vying for a top-four finish to clinch an invitation to the MAC postseason.
CMU will not make it to the conference tournament if the Bears win at home against KSU Friday in its last conference game and the Chippewas go winless the rest of the way in the MAC.
What must be frightening for the Chippewas is both things occurring are not unlikely.
The record CMU has against its last two conference opponents, Ohio and Kent State, is dreadful.
The Bobcats have a three-game winning streak against CMU and, in the last 10 games, have won eight. The Golden Flashes have an eight-game winning streak against the Chippewas.
The Bears, furthermore, could easily upset Kent State at home.
Head coach Cristy Freese talked earlier this season about the home field advantage Missouri State has at the Plaster Sports Complex, which features a field turf few MAC teams use and a crowd that is raucous.
For CMU to avoid the dreadful outcome of no postseason and challenge for its second regular season conference title ever, it will have to score goals.
The team's fifth-place ranking in the MAC in goals per game could easily foreshadow their ranking record-wise, if they do not pick it up.
As far as how many goals they must obtain to beat OU and KSU, three is the magic number.
It is a number that when reached or exceeded by CMU in the past four years, the Chippewas have come out victorious in 21 of 22 games.