Soccer splits pair of road weekend matches
Coming off a 3-0 shutout win at Akron, Central Michigan soccer couldn’t spoil senior day at Buffalo, Sunday.
The Chippewas (5-8-2, 4-3-1 Mid-American Conference) had the tables turned on them in the weekend finale at UB Stadium, losing 3-0.
Central Michigan Head Coach Peter McGahey said his team struggled to match Buffalo’s energy in the first half, allowing two goals to pass goalkeeper Zoie Reed.
Buffalo (9-5-2, 5-2-1 MAC) registered its third goal at the 86:40 mark, when Buffalo’s Nicole Gerritz nudged in a pass from teammate Angel Hart.
“I think one of those three (goals) we could have had back,” McGahey said. “When you let them score three goals on ten shots, you’re going to have a hard day."
The Chippewas totaled just six shots in the 90 minutes, just half of Buffalo’s totaled 12.
Junior midfielders Eliza Van de Kerkhove and Samantha Maher lead the sparse Chippewas offense with two shots on goal each.
McGahey said a three and half hour, 211 mile bus ride from Akron to Buffalo may have had some affects, Sunday.
“We do a good job traveling. I think sports-medicine wise, we do a really good job of taking care of our players,” McGahey said. “I think it’s more you have to be playing in a different stadium, playing at different times of the day, the preparation once you get to Buffalo. We need to be sharper with that.”
Another weekend split gives the Chippewas 13 points in Mid-American Conference play. They came into Sunday third in the West Division and tied with Buffalo for fifth-place overall.
With three conference games left, the Chippewas will have to remain within the top eight teams in order to qualify for the MAC Tournament.
Friday vs. Akron
Playing in their first road match since the final week of September, CMU soccer took down Akron 3-0 Friday evening at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Three goals are the most CMU has scored against an opponent in a single match this season.
“I'm quite proud of the team,” McGahey said. "I thought we showed really good resilience against a really inspired and motivated Akron team. They showed good character and grit throughout the game."
CMU’s first goal came in the game’s opening moments, with junior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove scoring her second goal of the season in the second minute of play.
Resuming the scoring in the second half was freshman forward Madison Pogarch.
Capping the busy offensive showing in the 72nd minute for the Chippewas was sophomore midfielder Meghan Sweeney. Like Pogarch, it was Sweeney’s first of her career as well.
“All we really try to do is get a good performance,” McGahey said. "I think it's about how the team feels with what they're trying to do and they believe in each other. That, for me, is much more important than momentum."
Reed earned the victory in her 11th start of the season in net. It was also her sixth shutout of the season thus far. She made five saves and faced 10 shots in the winning effort.