Pelafas' brace leads soccer to first regular season win

Rocking new home game uniforms, the Central Michigan soccer team pulled out its first regular season win at its home opener on Friday.

Thanks to an early goal, CMU (1-1-1) dominated Robert Morris and won by a score of 4-0.

"Our commitment to win those set-piece battles and take two goals off set pieces early in the game set the tone for the rest of the day," head coach Peter McGahey said on his team's performance.

Just six minutes in, CMU defender Sarah Mitchell won a corner kick after a deflection while trying to cross the ball into the middle. Junior Mary Carlson finished off the corner kick inside the six-yard box after the Robert Morris keeper missed the grab in the air.

With 31 minutes left in the first half, junior Madison Pogarch crossed the ball to last year’s leading goal scorer Lexi Pelafas who headed the ball towards the net only to hit the crossbar.

Pelafas got another chance about nine minutes later as she was left open for a header just yards from the net. The cross was nearly perfect and Pelafas was easily able to put it away past the keeper.

Mitchell, a freshman, played a role in most CMU attacks down the left side at left back. She won multiple challenges and played some great balls up the sideline and across into the box.

"(Remember) the fact that Sarah Mitchell for about three and a half weeks," McGahey said. "I think she's done a very good job and was very consistent. Her deliveries in the first half were very good and defensively she's figuring it out quickly."

With only three minutes left in the first half, the Chippewas capitalized on another corner opportunity with Pelafas poaching at the back post. Pelafas scored her second goal of the game with another header across the net.

"We are fortunate to have some players who can get on the end of headers," McGahey said. "I think Lexi (Pelafas) is a very good header. We have a team who can finish those crosses and more importantly a team who can deliver those crosses, so I thought it was a very good day."

The Chippewas dominated possession in the first half and goalkeeper Zoie Reed was only asked to make one save in the first 45.

In the second half, junior forward Madison Costner’s usage went up and hit a few shots but wasn’t able to put any of them behind the keeper. 

Reed was forced to make a few more saves in the second half as Robert Morris held more possession than the Colonials did in the first half.

CMU added another score from a mistake from a Robert Morris defender leaving sophomore midfielder Devyn Brough in on net to score her first goal of the season.

At the end of the day, it was a successful showing for the Chippewas being able to get their first regular season win.

CMU has five games remaining until conference play starts against Kent State.

The Chippewas take on Oakland in Rochester, Michigan at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 27.