Soccer uses MSU exhibition to prepare for Notre Dame

Junior forward Lexi Pelafas strikes the ball into the back of the net for the second score of the match on Oct. 5 at the CMU Soccer Complex.

The Central Michigan women’s soccer team failed to find the back of the net on Aug. 11 in a 2-0 loss in a preseason exhibition game at Michigan State. 

MSU junior Brittany Tanner and freshman Gia Wahlberg both scored to earn the win at DeMartin Stadium.

Head coach Peter McGahey said there was plenty to be positive about from the overall performance.

"Offensively it was some really positive progress that was missing the final product," McGahey said. "We had some good crossing opportunities, created some good counter attacking opportunities and had some chances to put some away, obviously we will work on those this week."

For the opening 35 minutes, the possession on offense was split fairly even on both sides. Then, the Spartans found a rhythm.

Tanner opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when she received a pass over defenders from Bella Jodzis, leaving CMU goalkeeper Morgan Britain all alone. Tanner connected on the far left post for the score.

CMU found a few more scoring chances but couldn’t capitalize and MSU took control with another score in the 63rd minute. Sadie Misiewicz put a cross pass over to Wahlberg for a tap-in goal, beating the Chippewas other goalie Brianna Wallbridge. 

With senior goalie Zoie Reed currently out with an injury, McGahey said the goal keeper job is undecided.

"I think both goal keepers are currently playing well," McGahey said. "From an overall defensive standpoint there are a couple things I wish we were more polished on, but if you looked totally polished in your first exhibition game you wouldn't have any practice topics for the week." 

The Spartans trio of goal tenders — redshirt-junior Reilley Ott, redshirt-freshman Madison Clem and redshirt-sophomore Olivia Argeros — combined for the shutout on three total saves.

Overall, the Chippewas were out-shot 12-9.

CMU will open the regular season against No. 14 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 in South Bend.

"They have some national ranked players on that team, it will provide us with a really good test," McGahey said. "It helps us prepare for the upcoming MAC season, but overall it's about the student-athlete opportunity it presents to compete against a top team in the country."

In order to win against the Fighting Irish, McGahey said it comes down to more than just scoring goals.

"Creating and scoring goals is important, but we need to be able to defend Notre Dame," he said. "They will undoubtedly put us under pressure."