ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Senior midfielder Erin Dye's diving goal and an outstanding defensive effort resulted in a shutout of No. 22 Maine, 1-0, Saturday afternoon for the field hockey team's first win over a ranked opponent since 2007.
The Chippewas (3-1) are off to their best start to open a season since 2006, holding the Black Bears (1-3) to just three shots, none on goal, in the second half to preserve a 1-0 halftime lead that would ultimately be the difference in the game. Senior goalkeeper Anastasia Netto made three saves, all in the first half, to earn her third career shutout.
The last time the Chippewas defeated a ranked opponent was a 3-2 victory over No. 5 Michigan State in Mount Pleasant on Sep. 26, 2007.
The shutout follows a 4-3 OT victory over Delaware on Friday, during which the Chippewas allowed two goals in the final minutes to go into overtime.
“It was a great team effort,” head coach Cristy Freese said. “I thought they learned some lessons from the overtime game yesterday and stepped up today and put them to use in the match. The defense was also able to communicate and adjust together to figure out what Maine was doing offensively and were able to prevent them from penetrating.”
Dye gave the defense just enough offensive support to earn the decision and the Chippewas’ first shutout of the season, scoring on a diving goal in the 27th minute off the rebound of a direct shot from a penalty corner. Dye was lying on the ground facing the opposite direction when she deflected the shot, and didn’t know it had gone in until she heard the ball hit the back of the cage.
The goal is Dye’s third of the season and the 25th of her career.
Central Michigan had several other opportunities to add to its lead, with six shots in each of the halves and six total shots on goal.
The Chippewas and the Black Bears each had a goal apiece disallowed due to penalties prior to Dye’s goal.
With five penalty corners in the second half, the Black Bears had a number of chances to even the score, but the Chippewas defense came up big and did not allow a shot on goal during the attempts, led by junior defender Skylar VanNatta.
Sophomore forward Cayleigh Immelman led the Maroon and Gold with four total shots, one of which was on goal. Dye took three shots, two on goal, while junior forward Bailey McKeon took three shots with one on goal. Saturday’s match was the first of the season in which McKeon hasn’t scored.
Next up for Central Michigan will be No. 11 Stanford Monday at 1 p.m. in East Lansing. A win over Stanford would give the Chippewas their first-ever two-game winning streak over ranked opponents.