Women's soccer beats Robert Morris, begins season 2-0
Pelafas tallies second consecutive two-goal game
Central Michigan women's soccer Head Coach Peter McGahey looks to start any season by "creating a process that you can trust and believe in." He thinks his team is succeeding in just that.
McGahey and Co. haven’t won consecutive road games since 2013, but that all changed Sunday.
The Chippewas defeated Duquesne 2-0 on Friday, then beat Robert Morris University 2-1 on Sunday to begin the season 2-0.
The first half was quiet in terms of goals scored, but the stats sheets were still filled. CMU had 14 shots in the first half with five of them being on goal, while RMU took only one shot with zero on goal. CMU took nine corner kicks in the first half compared to zero from RMU.
The Chippewas opened the second half strong, scoring a goal in the 46th minute of the match. Junior midfielder Jamie Rademacher scored her first goal of the season to give the Chippewas a 1-0 lead.
CMU’s lead would not last long, as RMU midfielder Theresa Laux scored in the 49th minute to tie the game at one goal apiece.
"I thought the team responded well to the challenges the game presented in order to claw back and get a goal after Robert Morris scored their goal in the second half," McGahey said. "Sometimes it takes a little breather at halftime to put everything back together, and I think we came out really strong in the second half."
The Chippewas found themselves with multiple chances to let the ball find the back of the net. In the 62nd minute, a shot by sophomore Shannon Magnan hit the post. Shortly after that, RMU goalkeeper Serena Donmoyer extended her body to reach out and make a save on a ball played in by senior Eliza Van de Kerkhove.
After some tough luck and a nice stop by Donmoyer, CMU finally nailed its second goal of the match in the 65th minute after a perfect pass by junior defender Savannah Beetcher to Samantha Maher. Maher found sophomore Alexis Pelafas for the goal. It was Pelafas’ third goal of the season — she had four goals throughout the entire 2015 season.
"I'm feeling so excited," she said. "It's only the start of something big and it's a collective team effort. Having it in us from the summer to preseason to each practice and game, it gets grittier and grittier. The energy and resilience is there."
With just three minutes remaining in the match, Pelafas added another goal to put CMU up 3-1. She tied her goal count from last year in the first two matches of the regular season. Pelafas finished the match with six shots, three shots on goal and the two goals that decided the match.
To keep the momentum going, Pelafas is putting this game behind her.
"I'm moving on to the next one," Pelafas said. "I'm excited for each game and ready to come out 100 percent. Yeah, I scored goals this game but I'm ready to score more and I have to make a difference in every game."
CMU will play in front of its home crowd for the first time this season Friday as the Chippewas take on Youngstown State at 6 p.m.
"We're really excited," McGahey said. "The home opener is always special. To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country is something we take a lot of pride in and it's gonna be a great day to be a Chippewa on Friday."