Soccer falls to Kent State in MAC Semifinal
The Central Michigan soccer team controlled the entire first half with fundamental defense and an early goal from senior defensive midfielder Taylor Potts who had just returned from an injury.
Everything was going good for the Chippewas, until the second half came around.
Kent State controlled the entire second half offensively, scoring all three of its goals to beat the Chippewas 3-1 to advance to the Mid-American Championship game.
Head coach Peter McGahey said he was hoping his team would still be playing come Sunday, but couldn't be upset with his team's performance throughout the game.
"When you play in playoff games everything is different, but I am not disappointed with this teams effort what so ever," McGahey said. "I think we responded to the pressure well. I think Kent State responded to the pressure well, but at the end of the day they got the win, so hats off to them."
The Chippewas finished the season 16-3-3 overall and 6-3-3 in MAC conference play. They did not lose a game at home this season, finishing 7-0-2.
CMU started the game controlling the ball offensively and looked to have a fire in their eyes to keep it up all night. Potts goal was a header that came on a corner kick from senior midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove just six minutes into the game.
The rest of the first half was slow as CMU played stout defense to keep the early lead heading into the break. After that, it was nothing but control and offense from the Golden Flashes.
Kent State’s first goal came just five minutes into the second half when junior forward Karli Paracca scored on a cross pass from Donavan Capehart to tie the game at 1-1. That sparked the Golden Flashes and they never looked back.
The second goal was scored by senior forward Jenna Hellstrom on a penalty kick in the 61st minute. The final and third goal for Kent State was scored by junior forward Hayden Pascoe in the 76th minute.
CMU generated some late offense showing plenty of urgency but couldn't get the ball in close for many chances.
The Chippewas led in shots (17-12) and shots on goal (7-4) for the game, but most of that effort came early in the game or late in the game when the team trailed by two goals.
McGahey said he was proud of his team and the effort throughout the season.
"I think we represented the culture and effort of Chippewa soccer very well all season long," he said of his team. "This was an outstanding senior class that left its mark in the right way."