Soccer scores in final minute of regulation to tie with Buffalo

Senior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove, right, fights for the ball during the game against Ohio on Oct. 16 at the Soccer / Lacrosse Complex.

Facing a 1-0 deficit late in the second half of Saturday’s soccer game, Central Michigan looked to be headed to its first losing streak of the season.

However, senior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove scored on a lead pass from sophomore forward Alexis Pelafas with 15 seconds left in regulation to even the game against Buffalo.

The match went into double overtime before it was called.

The Chippewas (13-2-3, 5-2-3 MAC), avoided losing back-to-back games as they attempted to keep pace for first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division.

CMU trails Ball State who is 8-1-1 in the MAC West.

It was an offensive struggle throughout the game with both teams generating chances but not being able to put the shots on goal.

Each goalie only had three saves while allowing one goal in the entire game. 

Buffalo’s lone goal came in the 56th minute when UB’s sophomore forward Carissima Cutrona scored on a long pass from Senior Midfielder Andrea Niper. 

It wasn't until the late push in the 90th minute where all of CMU’s offensives woes were relieved, head coach Peter McGahey said.

“I am very proud of the team’s effort all day. They had to respond to a lot of emotion,” McGahey said. “It was their senior day here in Buffalo and we had to respond to that emotion all day long. It felt great to finally get rewarded for all of our offensive pressure in the last seven to eight minutes.”

Van de Kerkhove said the team’s efforts throughout the game was the real reason they stayed in it.

“Everyone was positive throughout the game and wasn't just playing for themselves.” she said. “We were just more concerned with trying to keep competing together. Games like this one don't necessarily give you the result you want but it gives us a lot of confidence going forward.”

The Chippewas will finish the regular season on the road at 3 p.m. on Thursday against Eastern Michigan.