​Optimistic soccer squad looks to rebound in 2015


Sophomore defender Savannah Beetcher approaches a Michigan State defender in an exhibition game Aug. 13 at Bennett Field. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Chemistry between players can make or break the chances for a team to play for a championship. The 2015 CMU Soccer looks to use what it built last season to make a run at the title this season.

After two exhibition matches against Michigan State and Valparaiso which resulted in a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win, and a regular season 2-2 double overtime draw against Oakland, the Chippewas are ready to turn the page to a new season.

“I don’t know if the results will show it, but I will tell you that we are as connected and close as we’ve been as a team since I’ve been here,” said Head Coach Peter McGahey.

McGahey, who is 14-22-3 (12-10-1 Mid-American Conference), is entering his third season for CMU.

One challenge the Chippewas face heading into the new season is moving on past the graduation of Laura Gosse, CMU’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 21 total goals.

“You’re not necessarily going to replace Gosse player-for-player,” said McGahey. “You’re not necessarily going to have somebody come in and plug that personality right away.”

“You’re going to have to allow the team to grow. I think you’re going to look to a collective team spirit, in a way to sort of pick up.”

Despite the loss of Gosse, McGahey’s team still has plenty of veteran talent to push CMU in the right direction.

Veteran leadership along with a new mix of 11 incoming freshmen will look to pick up the slack left by last year’s graduating class.

A freshman who looks to make an impact in 2015 is Arlington Heights, Ill. native Rosie Pettenuzzo.

While in high school, Pettenuzzo was named by the Chicago-Sun Times as one of the top defenders in the Chicagoland area in 2014.

Eight upperclassmen starters return from last year’s team.

“Those eight, we’ve been brought through some challenging circumstances and times over the last two or three years,” McGahey said.

Junior midfielder Samantha Maher, a Caledonia native, appeared in every game last season for CMU, received Academic All-MAC honors and recorded an assist in back-to-back games against Ohio and Kent State.

Another upperclassmen talent who played in every game last season is senior midfielder Kaelyn Korte, who is a Prior Lake, Minn. native. She tallied seven points for the Chippewas a year ago.

Even with the mix of young and old on the team, McGahey feels that his team is at a level of maturity many others fail to acknowledge.

“I think we’re a far older team than people actually give us credit for.”

McGahey hopes his team can start this year as strong as they finished a season ago.

CMU limped into the fall a season ago, losing nine of its first 12 matches, going 2-9-1.

By the end of the season, the team heated up, claiming a victory in four of its final seven matches, posting a 4-2-1 record in that span. The team finished the 2014-15 season 6-11-2 (4-6-1 MAC).

The Chippewas will play their second game of the season against the University of Nebraska at 8 p.m. on August 28 at Barbara Hibner Stadium.