Soccer staying the course as MAC play continues

Greg Cornwell | Staff Photographer Senior midfielder Emily Cooksey blows past a defender at the CMU Soccer Complex during the Chippewas' home opener against Oakland Sept. 5.

A losing start to the conference schedule is not negatively affecting the Central Michigan University soccer team, players said, or the outlook on the rest of its season.

“We have had a hard two losses in conference season,” said sophomore midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove. “Everything we need to succeed is there. We just need to make it come out. I hope it is going to come out this weekend.”

Statistically, CMU has shown success through its first two Mid-American Conference matches.

The Chippewas completed 70 percent of their passes with 22 shots coming from their possession. Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Bunnell allowed just three goals in those two matches and made six saves.

With this in mind, the Chippewas said they feel their process needs few adjustments.

“We don’t have to drastically change anything that we do,” said senior forward Laura Gosse. “That would really freak people out. We are just going to stick to what we are used to and train how we have always been training.”

The troubling statistic for the Chippewas is the amount of failed shots on goal. CMU had 11 shots on frame over the weekend, but only have a single goal to show for it.

“You are always looking to sharpen the saw,” said Head coach Peter McGahey. “After reviewing the film, we realized our ball possession against Western Michigan was very good, but the final ball is missing. When it breaks through, we will really have some confidence.“

Watching film from this weekend’s matches has given the Chippewas hope as well.

“Watching film really instilled our confidence in each other,” Gosse said. “We saw how well we can move around the ball. It’s just the final pass that we have to get down. We know how we can play and we know we can beat both Ball State and Miami.”

MU and BSU are two of the MAC’s best teams.

Ball State has outscored opponents 14-1 in the team’s five wins this season and has the highest goals per match average in the conference.

The Cardinals have plenty of scoring options at their disposal with 12 different players taking goals this season.

Sophomore midfielder Gabby Veldman will be the main focus for the Chippewa's defense. She has three goals and three assists through nine games making her Ball State’s biggest offensive threat thus far.

Miami is 7-2 on the season with victories over Purdue and Louisville. They are a team that likes to spread the ball around averaging 1.67 assists per match.

MU senior midfielder Kelsey Dinges and sophomore forward Rachel Marble are the players to watch for the Redhawks.

Dinges has five goals this season, four of which were game-winners. She is also tied with Gosse for most points this season with 12.

Marble has assisted four goals for Miami this season with a single goal to her name.