Soccer falls to Kent State 3-2
A final minute bombardment couldn’t even the score, Friday night, as Central Michigan soccer lost its fourth conference game and ninth overall to Kent State, 3-2.
A CMU victory would have allowed the Chippewas (5-9-1 (4-4-1 MAC)) to jump Kent State (10-5-2 (6-3-0 MAC)) for fifth place in the Mid-American Conference standings. However, Friday's loss holds Central Michigan at 13 points and bumps Kent State up to 18.
Central Michigan Head Coach Peter McGahey said his team played well in bits and spurts, Friday, but felt his team was constantly fighting an uphill battle.
“I think Kent (State) did a good job of doing what they did and imposing more of their game than we were able to,” he said. “Sometimes if you’re running uphill on a treadmill all the time, that’s a difficult thing to maintain the whole game. We felt like we were chasing uphill today.”
The MAC leader in goals scored, Kent State scored first early at 7:07 when a lackadaisical Central Michigan defense couldn’t clear the ball from their box.
CMU freshman goalkeeper Zoie Reed said she couldn’t see the ball as it bounced sporadically.
“I wasn’t fully prepared enough for the save,” Reed said. “I really feel like I trusted my defense throughout the time period to really get those balls out.”
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the hustle of junior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove brought the Chippewa offense to life when she drew a free kick.
The free kick sparked a late first half barrage, which resulted in an Alexis Pelafas headed-in goal at 41:32. Junior midfielder Samantha Maher assisted Pelafas on her third goal of her freshman campaign.
The Chippewas couldn’t carry the late first half momentum into the second, unfortunately, as the Golden Flashes found the back of the net twice in less than a minute, early in the second half.
“The second goal I was clearly accountable for,” Reed said. “I wasn’t confident enough to make the first save or the second save or the third save. I believe it’s my decisions, my accountability to make certain decisions.”
Down 3-1, the comeback was on when Maher, who was active all night, beat the Golden Flashes’ goalkeeper to the top corner for an unassisted goal at 86:55, but the Chippewas’ frantic final efforts to tie the game bore no fruit.
The Chippewas totaled 12 shots. Reed takes her seventh loss of the year, finishing with six saves.
The team will take the six-hour, 395-mile trek south to Athens, Ohio to play Ohio University (5-10, 3-5 MAC), Sunday at 1 p.m.
McGahey said today’s loss does and does not give Sunday’s game greater importance.
“No, because it is the next (game) up,” the third year head coach said. “You still have six points left in the season. You still have a long season to go. You’re still sort of learning about yourself as you’re building along the journey. The reality is when you start to say this next (game) is the one you got to have is when teams start getting tight.”
MAC standings with two