Soccer edges Dartmouth 1-0 without top goal scorer Alexis Pelafas

Wheaton Illinois freshman Alexis Pelafas struggles with DePaul senior Brianna Rice for the ball at Bennett Soccer Field on September 13, 2015. Calli Morris | Staff Photographer

The Chippewas were without the second-leading goal scorer in the country, sophomore forward Alexis Pelafas, but the results remained the same for Central Michigan. 

The team defeated Dartmouth 1-0 in New Hampshire Friday with the lone goal coming in the 59th minute by senior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove. The go-ahead goal was her first of the season.

"I thought overall it was a good performance," said head coach Peter McGahey. "After we chatted during halftime, I really thought in the second half we really stepped it up to another level. Overall, we are very pleased with the performance and the process that we put in today."

McGahey didn't say why Pelafas sat out, but did allude to her being back on the field Sunday at Massachusetts.

"Sometimes at this point in the season, all teams get adversity, bumps, bruises, illnesses and those things," he said. "Sometimes it happens and we certainly look forward to having her back on Sunday."

Even with Pelafas' absence, CMU stayed true to it's gameplan, McGahey said.

"We're confident in the team," he said. "Sometimes you have to overcome a little bit of adversity and a little bit of difficulty and you trust your team to go out and make plays. I thought it was an outstanding performance by the team and it was another team win today."

Senior goalkeeper Kristen Knutson had six saves in the first half, preventing Dartmouth from striking early. She finished the match with seven saves en route to her second clean sheet of the season Friday, but had 12 saves in the first five games of the season alone. 

"(Knutson's) positioning on the shots and the shots (Dartmouth) took were handled very well," McGahey said. "I thought it was all really clean on her part. And hats off to Dartmouth. I thought they came out with a lot of energy in the first half. They showed really good grit."