After five-goal win, soccer approaches Senior Day with confidence

Senior Forward Lexi Pelafas moves past an Oakland defender on Sept. 9 at the CMU Soccer Complex.

After only one home game in the opening six regular season games, Central Michigan soccer returned home for a four-game stretch with a bang. 

The Chippewas overpowered the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 5-0 in Mount Pleasant on Sept. 9. Senior forward Madison Costner scored two goals, while senior forward Lexi Pelafas scored two more and added two assists. Senior defender Mary Carlson was the first Chippewa on the score sheet in the 11th minute. 

CMU now sports a 2-5 record heading into a two-week home stand at the CMU Soccer Complex. 

Confidence Booster

The Chippewas have scored at least once in all but one game this season against Detroit Mercy. Despite having three more shots than Detroit Mercy, the Chippewas fell 1-0. 

In both of their wins this season, the Chippewas have scored a combined nine goals. Winning games by a two-goal differential helps the team’s confidence. 

“Most importantly I think the score was reflective of the response from Friday night,” McGahey said. “I thought we played a positive and constructive game on Sunday, and we were certainly rewarded with those goals.”

McGahey has stressed movement inside of the box this season to increase goal-scoring opportunities. 

“We have talked about making sure that you are playing the way you are facing,” McGahey said. “We must take advantage of the strengths and talents that we have on the team. 

Senior Day

The upcoming matchup against UIC is Senior Day at the CMU Soccer Complex. Veterans like Pelafas, Costner and Carlson will be honored at a pregame ceremony that takes place on the field. 

“You want to be able to say thank you to their commitment,” McGahey said. “They have been part of the third best team in history.” 

Pelafas, the reigning Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week, is the team’s all-time leading scorer with a total of 39 goals. This season, she has already recorded one hat trick and is tied for No. 1 in the MAC with 6 goals. 

“I am just cherishing every moment I have with the team and on the bus and the dinners because it’s going to be gone shortly,” Pelafas said. 

Costner was the first to score a brace against the Golden Grizzlies at home on Sept. 9. Her first goal was a from about 12 years out right in front of the net. Her second was a long distance shot that went over the goalkeepers head. Pelafas assisted the first goal. 

Carlson is one of two players to start all 19 games last season, and she has been a force on defense for the Chippewas. In 2017, she scored the game-winning goal as a defender against Robert Morris. Since her freshman year, she has started each game she has been available for. 

The Chippewas will also honor midfielder Shannan Magnan, who was the other field player to start every single game last season. Goalkeeper Zoie Reed is listed as a senior, but due to injury, she received another year of eligibility. 

“Most importantly for me is how they have helped grow and shape the culture we have as a program,” McGahey said. 

Following the Senior Day game, the Chippewas start conference play against Ohio on Sept. 21 in Mount Pleasant.