Soccer begins home stand Friday

Senior midfielder Christen Chiesa fights for the ball during the game against Oakland University on Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Soccer / Lacrosse Complex.

Up to this point, the Central Michigan women's soccer team has played 10 total games. Only three of those games have been at the CMU Soccer Complex, with the other seven -- and five of the last six -- being on the road. 

Five of the Chippewas' last six games have been on the road. They began Mid-American Conference play last weekend, losing 4-0 at Northern Illinois and winning 2-1 at Western Michigan.

CMU (9-1-0, 1-1 MAC) is now gearing up to host five of its next six games at home, including two this weekend against Miami (Oh) on Friday and Ball State on Sunday. 

"We're really excited to play at home," said senior goalkeeper Kristen Knutson. "We love our new stadium. We are so excited to be on our home turf with our home fans. It's good to have people cheering for you instead of cheering against you so we are excited to be home."

Scouting Miami (Oh)

The Chippewas are 2-3 against the RedHawks in their last five regular season meetings, including a 1-0 victory last season at home. 

The RedHawks (4-4-1, 1-0-1 MAC) have scored seven goals in their nine games so far this season, with three of them coming from freshman forward Olivia Winnett. Her three goals have come from 10 shots and six shots on goal. She also had the game-winning goal last Sunday against Buffalo.

Winnett has also had help on offensive from senior forward/midfielder Rachel Marble. She has one goal and two assists in nine starts.

"I think (our team) has progressed fairly seamlessly," said Head Coach Peter McGahey. "Again, it's going through a growth and learning process as a team. It's transitioning from non-conference play, to where things are different, to the MAC schedule."

Miami (Oh) is led defensively by senior goalkeeper Vic Maniaci. In her eight games started in net, she has allowed seven goals and saved 56 shots, giving her a save percentage of .889. Maniaci had a shutout streak in 2015 that lasted for over 300 minutes, with solo shutouts against Ohio and Kent State. 

Scouting Ball State

CMU is also 2-3 in its last five regular season meetings against the Ball State Cardinals, the last victory coming in a 2-0 victory in 2012.

The Cardinals (7-2-1, 2-0 MAC) have spread the ball to multiple players so far in 2016. Sophomore midfielder Lauren Roll, freshman forward Sam Kambol and senior defenseman Lorina White all have three goals, with Roll only having played in eight of the their 10 games.

Ball State is also splitting time at the goalkeeper position with juniors Tristin Stuteville and Alyssa Heintschel. They have each started five games, but Stuteville has outperformed Heintschel in goals allowed (2-6). However, Heintschel has more saves (24-17) and more minutes (487:18-450) than Stuteville. They each had a start last weekend and both logged a clean sheet. 

CMU senior forward Samantha Maher is still out with a lower-leg injury she sustained Sept. 18 against Oakland. McGahey doesn't believe it's a season-ending injury, but says "when she's ready to go, she'll go."

"I hope (she plays this weekend)," McGahey said. "But at this point, I don't know."

The Cardinals have not lost since Sept. 4 in a 4-0 loss at Loyola Marymount.  

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.