The Eastern Michigan University soccer team traveled to Mount Pleasant Friday evening, and played the Central Michigan University Chippewas to a 0-0 draw after the game went to double overtime.
It was a tight game on a cold, windy night in Mount Pleasant that saw plenty of scoring chances for both the Eagles (4-7-2; 1-3-1 MAC) and the Chippewas (3-7-2; 2-2-1 MAC). But after 110 minutes the game ended just as it began and no team came out ahead to take an important three points in the Mid-American Conference standings.
The first half was the most entertaining of the two, and told a completely different tale of the game. And the action started in the 25th minute, when the match began going back and forth, with both teams going up and down the field trying to gain an advantage.
Michelle Rollins and Megan Trapp showed promise with good scoring chances, but their shots went directly into Central goalkeeper Zoie Reed’s hands, stopping the threat.
By the 35th minute the game became a battle in the midfield, with both the Eagles and the Chippewas not being able to find a way into its respective attacking thirds. The game started to pick up right before half, though.
Five minutes before half, a corner for Central posed a threat on Eagles veteran goalkeeper Megan McCabe. The ball got away from McCabe even though she got a fist to it and the ball fell to a Central player before being cleared by Hallee Kansman to end the threat.
Friday nights’ game marked the first time that McCabe has seen playing time since Sept. 25, when she injured her ankle challenging for the ball against Ball State University. McCabe made six saves against the Chippewas to keep her team in the match.
“She gets on the field because she’s healthy,” Hall said. “The good news is that now we have two good keepers that we can use in a game. The hard part is figuring out which one gives us the best chance to win.”
The Eagles and the Chippewas went into the half tied at zero, with good chances for both sides but defense stood tall for the both of the squads.
The second half didn’t see much action and play was centralized in the midfield for a majority of the half. The Eagles saw plenty of corners against Central, but were unable to capitalize against its MAC rivals.
Eastern Michigan almost were almost sent back to Ypsilanti with no points for its efforts, when seven seconds before the end of the first overtime, the Chippewas saw its best effort of the game.
McCabe decided to rush a slow moving ball into the box, but didn’t make it to the ball in time. A Central forward took a shot on net, being deflected to the foot of another forward, eight yards away from an empty net. Then, out of nowhere, Kansman came sliding in and knocked the ball wide forcing a second over time.
The game ended in a 0-0 tie.
Coach Scott Hall wasn’t pleased with the result, but he recognized the significance of coming away from an away game with a point rather than none. The draw keeps playoff hopes alive for his team.
“We played alright, and once we figured out we were doing alright,” Hall said. “And then out of nowhere we just stop. We stop playing, and we have to stop doing that.
“Our back four played really well, and we prepared for Centrals kind of attack. But he have to get better in the final third.
“Our forwards have to be more aggressive in the final third.”
But Hall knows that his team still have a chance to make it to the postseason.
“We got a point on the road and we grabbed some momentum going into our next game,” Hall said. “But the MAC has been crazy this year, so you don’t know what that magic [points] number is. We got a point, we got a shutout. This is a tough league.”