Eastern Michigan ties, awaits opener in MAC

Paige Sheridan celebrates with a fellow teammate after scoring Eastern Michigan’s lone goal Sunday against Michigan State.

Eastern Michigan women’s soccer team finished its non-conference schedule with a winning record.

The Eagles tied Michigan State, 1-1, Sunday at Scicluna Field to make their record 4-2-2. They beat Indiana State, Eastern Illinois, Richmond and Loyola (Md.), and lost to Michigan and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“We had a bad game against IUPUI,” said goalie Monique Budani, referring to the 2-1 double-overtime loss Friday. “It was good to finish the preseason on a good note.”

EMU coach Scott Hall said he was concerned that tough loss might affect his team but was happy with how it responded Sunday. The Eagles begin Mid-American Conference play at Akron on Friday and at Ohio on Sunday.

“The attitude we had was fantastic,” he said. “I was happy with how good training was on Saturday and how we came out and played (Sunday). I hope (Sunday) is a nice stepping stone going into conference play.”

Hall, who’s coached at EMU since 1995, said he thinks his team is ready for the conference season, but it won’t be an easy sea to navigate.

“Everybody’s good in the MAC,” he said. “There’s not a game where you can rest seven starters, because every game is tough.”

Hall said the Toledo game is one that sticks out on his team’s schedule. The teams meet Oct. 23 at Scicluna Field. He said the game might not be the toughest, but it’s one the Eagles have wanted since they lost 1-0 in last season’s conference championship.

Eastern’s success can be attributed to its goalie play. It’s allowed eight goals and has scored 12. Each goaltender, Maggie Manville and Budani, has played four games.

“It starts from the back,” Budani said. “Confident players in the back make a confident team.”

Ashley Rodrigues and Carissa Wilson lead EMU offensively with three goals each. Paige Sheridan, who scored against MSU, and Chelsea Detrick have two each.

By Robert Bunnell / The Eastern Echo
Paige Sheridan (15) sprints to score a goal Sunday against Michigan State.

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