A perfect time to strike
With two Mid-American Conference matches behind them, Central Michigan's soccer team has a prime opportunity to go on a run and gain some ground this weekend.
Opening MAC play with a 1-0 loss to WMU and a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois on the road, the Chippewas return home to play in their brand new stadium for just the second time this season.
Fortunately for CMU, they will not have to worry about weekend travels, as they have for a good portion of the season. The team's next four matches will all be at the new CMU soccer/lacrosse stadium.
It will be the Chippewas’ longest homestand of the season, which will provide them with a quality chance at throwing their hat in the ring of MAC contenders in front of home supporters.
If history is any indication, the best is yet to come for Head Coach Peter McGahey and his staff. Although over one-third of the season has come and gone and his team's record is 2-6-1, there are potential positives on the horizon, especially in the upcoming weeks.
The month of October has been the most successful one for CMU soccer in recent history. Entering the final stages of the 2014 regular season, the Chippewas put together a streak of quality matches by going 4-2-1 in their final seven matches.
Included in those seven matches was a three-game winning streak, all of which were shutouts.
It's not going to be an easy task, keeping in mind the Chippewas’ first opponent of the weekend is the defending 2014 MAC Tournament champion Miami RedHawks, who have a 6-3 record in 2015.
After Miami is Bowling Green, who owns a 6-2-2 record and sit behind WMU in second place in the MAC West Division.
Miami currently sits atop the MAC East.
The preliminary step to a run is in place after last Sunday's shutout over NIU. Beating the Huskies put an end to CMU's three-game losing streak as well as its three-game goalless drought.
At the tail end of the losing streak, McGahey mentioned how players can tend to stress and hold onto the ball for longer than necessary when there hasn't been many goals scored.
Now the key is to build off of what they did right and emulate it for the remainder of the year. Easier said than done, I know, but this team has the right tools in order to make it happen.
A lot can happen in a short amount of time and it can even be enough to turn CMU's season around. Who knows, maybe we will look back at this point in the season and recognize it as a turning point.
Only time will tell.