Soccer ties with Kent State without leading goal scorer

Junior midfielder Jamie Rademacher, right, moves with the ball during the game against Kent State on )ct. 14 at the Soccer / Lacrosse Complex.

Sophomore forward Alexis Pelafas had to watch from the pressbox as the Central Michigan soccer team played to a 1-1 double overtime draw with Kent State on Friday. 

Pelafas, CMU's leading goal scorer, had to sit out the match due to a yellow card accumulation suspension. 

The Chippewas (12-1-2, 4-1-2 MAC) were outshot 23-5 without Pelafas, but they were still able to tie with the Mid-American Conference leading Golden Flashes (10-1-1, 6-0-1 MAC).

Filling in for Pelafas was junior midfielder Jamie Rademacher. Senior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove had time up front as well, especially in the second half.

“You’re only able to play the cards you’re dealt,” said head coach Peter McGahey. “I thought Jamie Rademacher had an outstanding game. I thought Madison Costner and Shannon Magnan did a good job. Hats off to the team tonight.”

Kent State scored its only goal in the 61st minute of the game off the foot of Jaime Eiben. It was her first goal of the season.

Just three minutes later, Van de Kerkhove scored the equalizing goal to tie the game. Senior midfielder Christen Chiesa was credited with the assist.

“(Getting scored on) was kind of a learning curve for us. Before we haven’t handled that so well,” Van de Kerkhove said. “I think now our team has learned and we’ve grown as a team. Once we get scored on we’re like ‘alright, deep breath. Let’s just go, let’s get at them.’”

Friday's game marked the first time Kent State went to overtime all season, but it was CMU’s fourth time, all at home.

The first 10-minute overtime session came and went with two shots for each team resulting in zero goals. This was the third game of the season for the Chippewas that went to double overtime.

“In this conference, it’s always a grind, it’s always a fight,” McGahey said. “It was an exceptionally high level soccer game tonight from both teams. I thought our response to adversity was really good. It speaks really highly of the character of our team.”

Playing without Pelafas presented some challenges for the Chippewas, Van de Kerkhove said. 

“She’s definitely a huge personality on the team, so we definitely missed her out there,” she said. “She’s come a long way with her ability to lead on the field. We’re ready to have her back.”

The Chippewas and Golden Flashes both had several chances in the second overtime to win the game, but ultimately failed to put a ball in the back of the net.

CMU will play its final home match of the season at 1 p.m. on Sunday against Ohio.