Soccer caps off season at home against Eastern Michigan
Despite falling out of postseason contention, the Central Michigan women’s soccer team has one more game on its schedule.
Central Michigan will host Eastern Michigan in a Mid-American Conference affair at the CMU Soccer Complex on Thursday. The Eagles are 7-11-1 on the season and 4-6 in league play, while the Chippewas currently sit 7-8-3 this year and 2-6-2 in conference action.
After losing to Western Michigan last Sunday, CMU is no longer in the race to make the MAC playoffs.
“We are a process driven program,” head coach Peter McGahey said. “We will do some things to interject a little bit of life.”
Seniors Meghan Sweeney, McKay Matheson, Jamie Rademacher, Savannah Beetcher, and Lauren Sherry will be competing in their final career game for CMU. The seniors are a special group to McGahey, as they were the first players he recruited to Central Michigan when he arrived as the head coach in 2013.
“It’s a special group,” McGahey said. “They’ve been a group that has fought, clawed, bounced back, and been really resilient. It’s a group that will leave a legacy that will be more powerful than the season.”
Forward Lexi Pelafas enters the final game of her junior year with 12 goals and 2 assists. Earlier this season, she broke the soccer team’s all-time scoring record and has been named MAC Offensive Player of the Week twice. Pelafas also leads the team with 85 shots.
Madison Costner, a junior forward, is second on CMU’s scoring list with five goals. Junior midfielder Madison Pogarch leads the team with four assists.
Eastern Michigan’s playoff hopes are on the line on Thursday, as the team needs to win in order to have a shot at the MAC Tournament. If the Eagles can earn a victory over the Chippewas, the team would enter the postseason with a Western Michigan or Ohio loss.
“Eastern (Michigan) needs this game to get in,” McGahey said. “For them, it’s a playoff game. Our responsibility, respect for the game, and pride for CMU is we have to go out and compete. There’s an opportunity to end the season on a win and 8-8 is better than 7-9, so I think Thursday is going to be a really hard-fought match.”
Junior forward Peyton Davis and freshman midfielder Madeline Olson have started all 19 games for EMU. Davis has registered four goals and two assists, while Olson has three goals and two assists to her name. The duo has combined for 82 shots and 39 shots on goal this season.
The back end will be led by senior defender Chanel Vani, who has played the second-most minutes on the team. She has logged one assist and helped the Eagles to four clean sheets.
In net for the EMU will be junior Kaylin Williams, who has played the most minutes on the team with 1,709 across 19 games. Williams owns 89 saves this season and has allowed 32 goals, which is good for a 1.69 goals against average and a 73.6 save percentage.
CMU faces Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 at the CMU Soccer Complex.