DAYTON, Ohio - Central Michigan women’s soccer powered past Dayton with three unanswered second-half goals in the final 20 minutes to earn a 4-2 decision over the top-ranked team in the Mid-Atlantic Region Friday night.
Trailing 2-1, the Chippewas (3-1-0) had clutch second-half goals from both veterans and freshmen alike, with senior forward Laura Twidle and junior forward Nicole Samuel scoring the go-ahead and game-tying goals, respectively. Freshman forward Danielle Rotheram netting the final goal and assisting another to take down the Flyers (3-2-0).
“I think this win gives us confidence and it shows the character of our program," head coach Neil Stafford said. "What was really nice about tonight was that we got everyone but our second goalkeeper into the game and everyone contributed. For everyone to show that passion and desire, and what it means to be a Chippewa and wear that jersey was really great for us."
The Chippewas' four goals were the most in a single match since they scored four against Buffalo in 2009.
Twidle put the Chippewas ahead, 3-2, in the 82nd minute on a header goal assisted by Rotheram. The Dayton goalkeeper deflected Rotheram’s shot, and Twidle positioned herself cleverly to score off the rebound.
The goal was the second of the season and 17th of her career, tying her for seventh on the all-time CMU career goals scored list with Alison Heydorn (2003-2006).
Rotheram sealed the deal with a goal of her own just four minutes later, firing a shot from 15 yards out high to the far post and giving the Chippewas a 4-2 advantage. Freshman midfielder Christen Chiesa earned the assist.
Samuel tied the match in the 70th minute, 2-2, with a header to the near post from senior defender Samantha Brenz’ service into the box after receiving a pass from junior midfielder Tory Kinniard. Brenz and Kinniard were credited with assists on the play.
Samuel’s goal was her first of the season, and her first since scoring against Eastern Michigan in 2010 after seeing limited playing time due to injury in 2011.
Both the offense and defense picked up the intensity during the second-half comeback, as the offense took four shots on goal and six total shots in the final 20 minutes, while allowing just one shot on goal and three total after the Flyers took a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute.
Not only did the Chippewas finish the game strong, they started it strong, too
In the third minute, junior midfielder Kaely Schlosser dribbled to the center of the field and fired a shot into the upper far corner of the net from 25 yards out for her second goal of the season, putting the Chippewas on the board early with an unassisted goal for a 1-0 lead.
After waiting until the final two minutes in the season-opener against Detroit to score, the Chippewas have recorded goals in the first three minutes of two of the successive three games, including Schlosser’s against the Flyers.
The Flyers responded with two unanswered goals of their own, beginning in the 26th minute to tie the game, 1-1. Freshman midfielder Ashley Campbell scored off a cross from senior midfielder Colleen Williams that was redirected to the near post and into the net.
Dayton’s Williams scored the opening goal of the second half in the 66th minute, juggling the ball past two CMU defenders and finishing low to the near post and giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
Sophomore goalkeeper Grace Labrecque earned the win (1-0-0) and kept the Chippewas in the game with six saves, four of which came in the first half.
The win was truly a team effort, with all 21 traveling field players making an appearance and contributing to the comeback.
The Chippewas fired 10 of their 17 total shots on goal, while Dayton took eight on goal and 16 total. The Chippewas did not earn a corner throughout the duration of the match, and Dayton took four.
Twidle and Kinniard led the team in shots on goal with two apiece, while six other players recorded one.
The Chippewas look to carry their momentum to Milwaukee, Wis., where they play No. 12 Marquette Monday at 2 p.m.