CMU soccer rallies to draw with Akron
Down by one with 29 seconds to play, senior midfielder Maggie Basse battled an Akron defender, looking for space.
Once Basse found an opening, she kicked the ball past the Zips goalkeeper and scored the tying goal for Central Michigan Soccer.
However, as the Mid-American Conference regular season winds down, the Chippewas (2-9-4, 1-4-3) and the Zips (2-7-4, 1-5-2) battled to a 2-2 draw on Sunday afternoon.
“You know, on the road to fight back from two goals down I think it takes a lot of guts,” said head coach Jeremy Groves. “I feel like again we’ve kind of, you know, been around the market in terms of how we’re developing and stuff like that, but the second half was a step in the right direction.”
Akron set the tone in the first four minutes, as it took a 1-0 lead with a goal by freshman forward Emma King assisted by sophomore midfielder Quinn Casey.
“I think in the first half they had an extra number in the middle of the midfield than us and we were really struggling to deal with that player,” Groves said. “We midway through the first half…actually made a tactical switch and added another player into midfield. We still kind of struggled, I think, understanding exactly what was asked of the players but at halftime, we kind of really got to sit down and talk about what we wanted and how we wanted to execute.”
The Zips added another goal at the 57-minute mark on a deflection that sophomore midfielder Ella Hadley sent into the net putting Akron ahead 2-0 lead.
With 24 minutes remaining, CMU netted its first goal as junior forward Elizabeth Chlystun kicked it into the range of junior midfielder Megan Logue, who used her head to hit the back of the goal.
“In the second half, we made a couple of changes at the back…We’re able to get out in those areas and possess the ball a little bit more,” Groves said. “Our extra number of midfields being able to compete, and you know stop them from doing what they did. And I think in the second half we kind of took away a lot of things that they did to us in the first half and obviously added stuff for us going forward.”
With less than 30 seconds to play, the Chippewas capitalized on a throw-in as Basse then tied the game 2-2.
“Just like the last couple weeks, we showed a lot of character and faith and resilience to come back and kind of tie 2-2,” Groves said. “So really happy with the fight in our group, obviously with our situation with not many numbers and you know where we’re at right now, so happy with our younger players and older players. Everybody pulled together and we’re starting to believe a little bit more now.”
The Chippewas head to Buffalo, New York on Thursday to take on the Buffalo Bulls at 7 p.m.