Women's soccer blanks Kansas State to improve to 4-0 on season

Following a defensive first half, the Central Michigan soccer team topped Kansas State 2-0 Sunday, improving to 4-0-0 on the season. 

With the help of senior goalie Kristen Knutson, the Chippewas were able to fend off several shot attempts  from the the Wildcats late in the game. 

"I'm very proud of the effort and the process that we put out today. To end your opening home weekend end on such a high note is so great," said CMU Head Coach Peter McGahey. "We showed today who we are and we played Chippewa soccer, and I was really proud of the energy and the determination the players played with today." 

With four minutes left in the contest and the Chippewas looking to put the game out of reach, freshman Kayla Roodbeen delivered an on-target pass to sophomore Alexis Pelafas, who scored her NCAA-leading sixth goal. 

Pelafas has already surpassed her freshman season goal total by two, and is two ahead of the next closest player in the country.

CMU struck first off a corner kick from senior midfielder Samantha Maher, who earned her first goal of the season to give the Chippewas a 1-0 lead early in the contest. The Chippewas ended the game with 12 shots and six on goal.

"We've been working on those corner kicks since I was a freshman," Maher said. "We've done them countless times so I knew what to expect. Lexi (Pelafas) challenged the ball and I was just in the right place at the right time."

The Wildcats had two opportunities to score early in the second half, but both attempts flew over the crossbar and out of bounds. 

With just 11 minutes to play, KSU had a similar sequence of events happen, with a ball going just over the bar and Knutson’s head. In her first season starting for CMU, Knuston has allowed only one goal in four games. 

"My defenders make it real easy for me to see where the ball is gonna go, so it may look like a good shot, but really we're telling them where to put it," Knutson said. "Everybody has done their and job and that makes things not as chaotic." 

CMU will look to go 5-0-0 next Sunday at Michigan State. McGahey said while preparation for the game is key, his players have more important matters this week. 

"I think sometimes we forget they are student athletes," he said. "Having a week off (helps) acclimate them to their classes and allows the rivalry (with MSU) to build up and certainly allows recovery time. I think its gonna be a good week for us."