Soccer takes on Eastern Michigan before beginning MAC Tournament
The last time the Central Michigan soccer team won the Mid-American Conference Tournament was in 2010. The journey to win another begins Sunday.
Before the Chippewas begin their quest for a MAC title on Sunday, CMU (13-2-3, 5-2-3 MAC) will play its final game of the regular season on the road against Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Despite being out of contention for the MAC West Division title, a CMU win against the Eagles will clinch the third seed in the MAC Tournament.
The Chippewas’ first round match of the tournament will be played in Mount Pleasant regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s game against EMU.
“We’re pumped up and ready to bring the same energy that we have brought since the beginning of the season,” said sophomore forward Alexis Pelafas. “We’ve had some really good practices and want to take that to the game.”
For head coach Peter McGahey, the most important thing for the team is to maintain the same level of gameplay CMU has shown all season.
“We’re looking to end the second season well and making sure we’re reinforcing the pieces of our identity that are really important going into the postseason,” McGahey said. “It’s all about fine tuning and reminding us what’s there already, and making sure you draw these things out before the postseason.”
Beginning on Sunday,the top eight teams from the MAC will compete for the conference championship.
Heading into the postseason, senior goalkeeper Kristen Knutson said staying focused after a long regular season will be key.
“We need to keep playing tough soccer and competing with a lot of passion, mainly toward the end of the season when it keeps getting tougher and tougher after all of the months of training and playing,” she said. “We’re excited to finish off the conference season and show what we’ve done and how hard we’ve worked. It’s always important to end the season on a strong note going into the playoffs because you never know when your last game is.”
McGahey said he still wants the goals that have been a focal point for the team all season long to carry into postseason play.
“To win a MAC championship, the first part of the puzzle we already accomplished because you have to get into the tournament,” he said. “The second piece of that puzzle is that now we want to play for as high of a seed as we can, which is what we are doing.”