MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan field hockey team will make its 2012 home debut this weekend as it hosts Mid-American Conference foe Miami (OH) and No. 13 Iowa at the CMU Field Hockey Complex.
In addition to being the home opener, Friday's match against Miami will be the MAC opener for the Chippewas, who are looking to make a run at their first MAC Championship since 2005, when the Chippewas won the conference tournament. A regular season MAC title would be the first for the program since 2002. The top four teams in the regular season conference standings will qualify for the conference tournament.
Vs. Miami (OH) (2-6) (CMU Field Hockey Complex)
Friday, Sep. 21 | 2 p.m.
Follow: Live Stats | Twitter (Join the conversation with #CMUMU)
Together We Are Maroon Day: CMU students who attend this field hockey match, the soccer match against Kent State at 4:30 p.m. and the volleyball match against Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. will be eligible to win a Central Michigan Athletics prize pack.
Vs. No. 13 Iowa (5-2) (CMU Field Hockey Complex)
Sunday, Sep. 23 | Noon
Follow: Live Stats | Twitter (Join the conversation with #CMUIOWA)
Professor Appreciation Day: Academic success is a key component of the CMU field hockey culture. In order to show appreciation to those professors who have made an impact on the players, each of the student-athletes have invited an instructor and their family to the match to watch and be recognized at halftime.
By the Numbers
|Team||Miami (OH)||CMU||No. 13 Iowa|
0-0 at home
Scouting Miami (OH) (2-6)
Like the Chippewas, Miami has challenged itself in the non-conference schedule with difficult matches against nationally ranked and prominent opponents. After starting 0-4 against four ranked opponents, the Redhawks have gone 2-2 since, including a 2-1 win over No. 23 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. Most recently, the Redhawks dropped a 2-1 decision to William and Mary on the road. Opponents have been able to jump out to early advantages against the Redhawks, with a 12-4 scoring disadvantage in the first half this season.
The Redhawks and Chippewas have faced common opponents in Louisville and Stanford. Stanford edged CMU, 2-1, on a second-half comeback, while Miami fell to the Cardinal two days earlier, 3-0. The Chippewas were defeated by Louisville in double overtime, 3-2, and the Redhawks lost, 3-1, to the Cardinals.
Junior forward Emily Gruesser leads the Redhawks with five goals, while junior midfielder Kaitlin Evans and sophomore midfifelder Ali Froede have two goals apiece. Freshman Bea Dechant leads the Redhawks with four assists.
History Against Miami (OH)
The Chippewas are 27-33 all-time against the Redhawks. The two teams split the season series in 2011, with each team winning on their home field. The Redhawks took the first meeting, 2-1, while the Chippewas claimed the second, 3-2. Beginning this season, each MAC team will only play the other conference teams once instead of twice, making this weekend's match the only meeting in the regular season.
Scouting No. 13 Iowa (5-2)
The Hawkeyes, who have been ranked as high as 10th in the nation, opened the season 2-2 before going on a three-match winning streak, during which the team has outscored its opponents 11-1. Among their five wins are a 10-0 romp of MAC foe Missouri State and a 6-0 win over Pacific. Most recently, the Hawkeyes defeated No. 20 Albany at home on two goals from junior forward Kelsey Mitchell. The Chippewas and Hawkeyes have a common opponent in Stanford, to which both teams lost. The Chippewas fell, 2-1, while Iowa was defeated, 3-2.
Mitchell is one of four players for Iowa who have scored four times this season, joining senior midfielder Jessica Barnett, junior forward Aubrey Coleman and sophomore midfielder Dani Hemeon. Senior midfielder Geena Lesiak and junior defender Niki Schultheis have contributed five assists apiece. The Hawkeyes are a lock-down second-half team, having scored 12 and only allowed three in total this season in the second period.
History Against Iowa
A win Sunday over the Hawkeyes would be the first in program history for the Chippewas, who are 0-7 against Iowa all-time. CMU gave the Hawkeyes a run for their money in the most recent meeting between the two sides in 2011, when the Maroon and Gold didn't allow a first-half goal but ultimately lost, 1-0.
Chippewas Among National Stats Leaders
|Erin Dye||Goals Per Game||.67||t-41|
|Bailey McKeon||Goals Per Game||.67||t-41|
|Cayleigh Immelman||Assists Per Game||.50||t-49|
|Anastasia Netto||Goals Against Average||1.85||34|
|Saves Per Game||4.67||48|
Keeping it Close
Seven matches into the season, the Chippewas have not won or lost a game by more than one goal. At no point this season have the Chippewas trailed or led by more than two goals. The Maroon and Gold have played three overtime matches this season, including a double-overtime loss to Louisville last Friday, 3-2. CMU is 1-2 in overtime matches this season.
The Chippewas have not yet played on the road or at home this season - all of the seven matches have been neutral-site games. The Chippewas will play at least nine neutral-site matches this season, depending on tournament qualification status.
Prepared for the MAC
The Chippewas played a difficult non-conference schedule to prepare themselves for the rigors of the MAC calendar. The Maroon and Gold shut out No. 22 Maine, 2-0, and led No. 11 Stanford, 1-0, at the half before losing 2-1. Louisville and American, with whom the Chippewas played closely fought losses this past weekend, have also been ranked at various points in the season.
Revisiting the Preseason MAC Poll
1. Ohio (5-2) (30 votes)
2. Kent State (4-4) (27)
3. Central Michigan (3-4) (22)
3. Miami (OH) (2-6) (22)
5. Missouri State (2-5) (13)
6. Ball State (2-5) (12)
Predicted Tournament Champion
1. Ohio (4 votes)
2. Central Michigan (1)
3. Missouri State (1)