Eastern Michigan University’s soccer team defeated Kent State 3-0 Sunday at Scicluna Field to win its first-round game in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
It was the 10th shutout for the second-seeded Eagles (11-3-6, 6-1-4), who next face No. 6 Miami on Friday. The match will be on the campus of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Times have yet to be announced.
Goalie Mona Budani, who made seven saves, said, “It felt good coming out here and getting a win today. We worked hard all game long, (and) we had the home-field crowd behind us. There is no way they were going to beat us on our home turf. We worked too hard to let it go like that.”
Ashley Rodrigues had the game’s first goal at the 44:58 mark of the first half on an assist by Julie Kaim. It was Rodrigues’ ninth goal of the season.
“It all started from our defense, Julie made a great play, A-Rod got a good look at the goal, and it paid off,” coach Scott Hall said.
It remained a one-goal game until the 80:12 mark when Chelsea Detrick got her fifth goal, on an assist from Paige Sheridan. Sheridan scored at 89:11 into an empty net on a breakaway, with an assist from Carissa Wilson. It was Sheridan’s fourth goal.
Seventh-seeded Kent State (8-9-2, 4-5-2) had 15 fouls, while EMU had 18.
EMU out shot KSU 13-7 on goal and 20-17 overall. Kelly Sherwood made 10 saves for KSU.
“We are going to win (against) the next team we face,” Budani said. “We are going to win the MAC conference championship.”
Miami (11-7-1, 7-4-1) handed EMU its only conference loss on Oct. 9 at Scicluna Field.
Jodi Zwingelberg scored the lone goal against Budani in the 29th minute of the first half. Krista Pace made nine saves, while Budani had five.
Top-seeded CMU (15-3-2, 10-0-2) with face defending-conference champion and No. 5 Toledo (11-6-3, 7-3-2) in the other semifinal match.
CMU defeated eighth-seeded Western Michigan 3-0 and UT beat No. 4 Ohio 3-1 on Sunday.
CMU will play host to the semifinals because it’s the highest ranked team remaining.
EMU lost 1-0 to Toledo in the title game of the tournament last season, and the EMU players have said repeatedly their goal is to get back to the title game and win it this time.
Sports editor Justin Souva contributed to this report.