Knutson delivers shutout, Pelafas scores twice as women's soccer wins season opener


The CMU Soccer team celebrates after a goal against Miami (OH) Friday night at the CMU Lacrosse-Soccer Stadium. The Chippewas defeated the Redhawks, 1-0.

Senior goalie Kristen Knutson waited two years on the sidelines for her chance in net after transferring from the University of Minnesota.

In her first career start, the Eagan, Minnesota native didn’t disappoint, delivering a shutout victory for the Central Michigan women’s soccer team in the first game of the season Friday.  

The Chippewas defeated the Duquesne Dukes 2-0 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the team’s first opening game win since 2012.

“I’m really proud of the team in terms of the effort they put in tonight,” said Head Coach Peter McGahey. “The process they put in the preseason and in the summer was a good (benefit) for what I think was a quality process. It’s nice to have those attitudes and sacrifices rewarded with a win tonight.”

Sophomore Alexis Pelafas scored once in the 41st minute and again with nine minutes to play to give CMU some breathing room in the win. The Wheaton, Illinois native led the team in 2015 with four goals as a freshman.

Freshman Marle Bringard and sophomore Madison Pogarch assisted on the goals.

Knutson had four saves as the Chippewas out-shot the Dukes 14-12. CMU had eight shots on goal.

Knutson said she worked endlessly for this moment and feels her hard work is finally paying dividends.

“I love CMU and I’ve battled through to get here,” she said. “I’ve worked really hard and it’s exciting to help out the team in a different way this year.”

McGahey said he has seen the hard work the senior has put in and he couldn’t be more proud.

“Sometimes it takes a little longer than you want it to, but I’m really happy for her,” he said. “The resilience she’s shown, she certainly earned it and all the accolades she gets.”

The Chippewas will stay in Pittsburgh throughout the weekend as the team will play Robert Morris on Sunday. The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

“You have to build on (the win),” McGahey said. “It feels really good right now, but tomorrow you have to get back to work. We’ll keep building our process and keep working for Sunday.”