Under the lights: CMU earns first win at new complex
An important homestand began Friday night with a 1-0 win by Central Michigan soccer as it squared off against the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament Champion Miami RedHawks.
Friday night's match was the second at the new CMU soccer/lacrosse complex and was the first home night game in program history.
Facing windy and cold autumn conditions, the Chippewas put forth a quality effort against Miami for CMU's second shutout victory in as many games. It was their third shutout victory of the season.
"It was a great night and a great experience," said Head Coach Peter McGahey. "Our team really displayed good character throughout the game. It's about flow and being comfortable with each other and really, for me, getting the game on the front foot and playing with good attacking tenacity."
Junior defender Taylor Potts scored the lone goal for CMU. With 3:22 left on the clock, Potts took the ball into the opposing box and was abruptly knocked to the turf, forcing the referee to call the foul.
Potts scored on the penalty kick for her second goal of the season. It was also the first penalty-kick goal of her collegiate career.
"I went to turn and I kind of jumped because I knew she was sweeping with her leg, but, as I jumped over her foot, she kind of clipped my foot and I just made the best of the play. I knew I wasn't going to get a shot off," Potts said. "I needed to score for my team because if I didn't, the other team was going to get a crazy amount of momentum."
The goal was the second penalty-kick goal scored by the Chippewas in 2015, with the first being scored on Aug. 28 in a 4-3 double overtime loss against Nebraska by senior midfielder Kaelyn Korte.
Miami entered Friday's match riding a four-game winning streak with a 6-3-0 (2-0-0 MAC) record while sitting atop the MAC East Division.
"We played with good determination, good tenacity and good resolve at the end to grind it out," McGahey said. "We had good composure when we had to create chances. That's the thing that I'm most proud of, particularly the character we displayed and played with tonight."
In the second half, CMU played the RedHawks tough, especially on the defensive side of the ball, as they worked to limit Miami's chances in the attacking zone.
Freshman goalkeeper Zoie Reed faced 12 shots, making six saves for the second shutout of her young Chippewa career.
"Zoie's range is quite good and that's what you saw tonight," McGahey said. "On a night where it is incredibly windy, her distribution was able to get us out and break pressure, particularly in the second half when we were playing into the wind."
With the victory, the Chippewas improve their record to 3-6-1 (2-1-0 MAC).
CMU will remain at home for its next match at 1 p.m. on Sunday against Ball State. The Cardinals are 7-2-2 this season and are in first place in the MAC West Division.
Last season, the Chippewas were shutout by Ball State 2-0 in Muncie, Indiana.