Soccer overcomes early goal to win home opener
After two ties to open the season, the Central Michigan women's soccer team finally secured a victory.
The Chippewas (1-0-2) picked up a 2-1 win in their home opener Friday night against Indiana State, which has now fallen to 0-5 overall this season.
While the Chippewas won the possession battle and outshot Indiana State by 21, it was the Sycamores who struck first and held the lead for much of the game.
In just the third minute, Sidney Ewing slotted the ball past redshirt senior goalkeeper Zoie Reed to give Indiana State a 1-0 edge at the CMU Soccer Complex.
From that point on, first-year coach Jeremy Groves’ squad fought to tie the game up but not until going through adversity. Freshman Lauren DeBeau had a few chances, but she was unable to convert.
“She’s always creating chances and doing that kind of stuff,” Groves said of DeBeau. “I think that’s not a problem, it hasn’t been a problem since she’s been here, I think the actual putting the ball in the goal has been the problem and it’s something we’ve been working on a lot in training and we will continue to work on until she’s comfortable.”
The first half ended with the home team trailing by one, despite the offensive efforts.
Coming out in the second half, the Chippewas were looking to take advantage of the numerous offensive chances they were creating.
It seemed as if DeBeau had finally broken through and gotten the equalizer for the Chippewas, but unfortunately for DeBeau and her teammates, her goal was called back due to offsides.
“I thought I was even with the backline girl, but it’s just on to the next,” DeBeau said. “You can’t really do anything about it, it’s just on to the next, on to the next and we ended up getting the next goal.”
In the 67th minute, CMU earned a free-kick, and it proved to be the breakthrough moment. Alina Miagkova took the shot and scored even as Indiana State goalkeeper Hannah Sullivan got a hand on it.
Miagkova has made headlines this week while playing for the Russian Women’s National Team and scoring a goal in European Championship Qualifiers.
“She flew, I don’t know 20 hours or whatever, and she got back to campus on Wednesday night,” Groves said. "She trained yesterday, and she looked OK, so we decided to play her.
"We played her out of position. She played upfront today, and she did a good job and obviously got the goal on the free-kick however it went in.”
With the game tied 1-1, the Chippewas continued to press forward in an attempt to win. Sure enough, in the 87th minute, Marle Bringard got one by Sullivan for the lead.
“We knew that we had to really put it in gear and get going,” Bringard said. “Once we scored the first goal, we had a ton of momentum. Even coming out of the locker room at halftime, we had to change our mentality and that happened.
"Scoring the game-winner was nice, but it was a whole team.”
The Chippewas controlled the ball for much of the final three minutes and got their first win of the season.
The Chippewas will be back at the CMU Soccer Complex at 1 p.m. Sunday for senior day to take on Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.