Senior forward Megan Trapp scored in the 45 minute of the first half on Saturday as the Eastern Michigan University soccer team topped the Indiana at Purdue University at Fort Wayne Mastodons’ 2-0 in the team’s final spring season match of the year in Ypsilanti.
The match was the last to be played before the 2015 regular season starts in August, but it was the Eagles who looked to be in mid-season form throughout the game. EMU (11-7-1 and 7-4-0 in conference play last season) capitalized on their high pressing offense to ease past IPFW (2-14-2 and 0-6-2) with a 2-0 victory.
“For a spring game, the pressure was really good,” coach Scott Hall said. “We created a lot of chances, which I think was the big thing, now we have to finish on those chances.”
After the first 20 minutes, the Eagles settled down and set the pace for the entire match. The team rallied behind the energy of forward Megan Trapp and mid-fielder Ellie Tillar in the first half creating chance after chance. After four missed corner kicks and one favorably placed free kick, the Eagles went into halftime up 1-0 after a clever strike by Trapp.
The second half of the match saw two breakaways, 10 corner kicks and one penalty kick by senior Chelsie Oddan in favor of the Eagles, yet no goals off of these chances. The Eagles looked comfortable on the ball, at ease in their offensive skill and mechanical in their defensive lockdown, but it was finishing plays that troubled the team.
“We have to be a little bit sharper in our finishing,” Hall said, “but we got more and more comfortable and started to wear them down a lot, but I think from our pressure that is going to happen to teams we play.”
Senior mid-fielder Chelsie Oddan won a penalty kick in the 23 minute, but the kick was saved by IPFW goalkeeper Sam Pavlika. Two minutes later, it was sophomore forward Michelle Rollins who put in a great header from a cross that put the Eagles up 2-0, sealing the victory.
The Eagles finished their spring season with a record of 2-2, but Coach Hall has confidence in the direction and improvement going into the fall.
“Things are starting to fall into place for us,” Hall said.
The Eastern Michigan University Woman’s soccer team will start defending their Mid-American West Conference title in the beginning of August when the 2015 season kicks off.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman