Coming off the first At-Large NCAA Soccer tournament bid in MAC history, the Central Michigan Chippewas will be playing with heavy hearts. This season will be a rough go at it for the Chippewas after losing one of their own in a car crash earlier this month. Sophomore Josie Seebeck passed away after sustaining injuries in a car accident. Two other players were also involved in the car accident.
On top of tragedy, Central Michigan is adjusting to life under new coach Peter McGahey, who took over after Neil Stafford took a job with Cincinnati in the offseason.
McGahey comes in with a career 74-21-13 record, all while at Minnesota State.
The Chippewas have to push through and find a way to reach the success they had last year, minus seven starters, as well as Seebeck. After a 15-7-1 season (and a second place MAC finish with a 10-2 record) expectations will continue to be high.
On a team losing a great deal of experience, junior goalkeeper Grace Labrecque returns, having played in 17 matches over the last two years. She will replace Stefanie Turner, a mainstay in the Central Michigan net over the last four years. Laura Gosse also heads into her junior season with many reasons to be optimistic. With five goals a year ago (and with 17 points contributed over the last two seasons) she is the Chippewas highest returning goal scorer from 2012.
Jennifer Gassman will be one of six returning seniors and her leadership will be critical in determining where this team goes. The Senior forward sits in a tie for 10th in school history in career goals with 10, and has seen her shots on goal percentage go up each year in Mount Pleasant. With all of this, Gassman is poised for a break out final year.
Returning in the midfield are senior Tory Kinniard, and Sophomore Christen Chiesa, the sophomore from Pittsburgh, contributed enough to be named to the All-MAC Freshman team. Senior Kaely Schlosser also returns in the midfield, having recorded eight points in 2012.
Estee Outcalt looks to head the defense, a smart player in her own (an Academic All-MAC a year ago). She will be joined by a committee of mostly young players looking to earn some minutes in the back of the Central Michigan defense.
The Chippewas won’t make it easy on themselves as far as scheduling goes. Out of conference foes include Detroit, and Dayton at home, while crunched in between those matches are a stretch of six road matches against the likes of West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Washington, Ohio State, and Indiana. And in the next to last week of the season, they will take on conference foes and defending MAC champions, the Miami RedHawks on the road, on October 25th.