Soccer’s MAC Tournament hopes end in loss to EMU

Senior forward Madison Costner fights to gains possession of the ball on Sept. 21 at the CMU Soccer Complex.

Central Michigan soccer came into Thursday's game aspiring to solidify a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament with a win at Eastern Michigan University.  

The Chippewas weren’t able to achieve the result they were hoping for, falling 3-2 in overtime.  The loss drops CMU to ninth place in the MAC and out of playoff contention.   

Early Deficit

Forward Sabrina McNeill gave the Eagles an early 1-0 lead off a penalty kick in the 9th minute.  EMU- who ranks first in the MAC in corner kicks taken- took a corner in the 21st minute that caused a scramble in front of the net. Midfielder Madeline Olson was able to notch her seventh goal of the season, increasing EMU’s lead to 2-0. Assists on Olson's goal were credited to Tessa Osborne and McNeill. 


The Chippewa’s tournament future appeared bleak, but CMU midfielder Marle Bringard’s strike in the 69th minute supplied a bit of hope.  Now within one goal of tying the match, CMU picked up their attack.  

 The two teams would trade shots back and forth until CMU’s offense overwhelmed EMU goalkeeper Kaylin Williams with a barrage of shots in the 84th minute.  Sarah Mitchell started the action with a shot that was blocked.  Lexi Pelafas promptly followed four seconds later with a shot of her own that was also blocked. A struggle in front of net ensued, and Riley Mann capitalized with a goal off a rebound.  Mann’s first career goal could not have come at a better time, tying the match 2-2 and eventually sending it into overtime.

“I could not be prouder of the team in terms of how we battled back in the second half,” CMU coach Peter McGahey said.  “I thought we clawed and scratched and did everything we needed to do to get the game back to 2-2."


CMU would have to face arguably the most important moment of their season without their leading goal-scorer.  The Chippewas had never been issued a red card all year until late in the 92nd minute, when Pelafas was sent off the pitch.  

“I didn’t get a clean look at it, you’ll have to look at the video,” McGahey said. “I think given the context of the game, given how the second half went, I thought it was a little harsh.”

EMU defender Haley Tausend would score the winning goal shortly after.  Following a corner kick, Tausend’s 93rd minute strike would end the match and the Chippewa’s shot at qualifying for the MAC Tournament.