PORTLAND, Ore. - In front of a raucous crowd at Merlo Field in Portland, a late second half goal made the difference as Central Michigan fell, 1-0, in its first-ever meeting with 10th-ranked Portland at the Nike Invitational.
• Portland wasted no time in the initial 20 minutes of the first half with a flurry of shots on goal, but CMU responded throughout the rest of the half behind freshman goalkeeper Heather Laeufer’s five first half saves. Laeufer ended the night matching a career-high seven saves in her third consecutive start.
• Junior defender Morgan Wilcoxon made her presence known on Friday night, frustrating the high-octance pilot offense.
“I thought that Morgan Wilcoxon played a really, really good game," said head coach Peter McGahey. “I thought she reached good havoc offensively and defensively they really did not want to go down her side very much.”
• Midfielder Kaelyn Korte supplied the Chippewas with its best opportunity for a score in the 40th minute when her shot from the top of the box was deflected by sophomore Pilot goalkeeper Erin Dees. The scoring chance marked the sophomore transfer from Creighton’s first shot on goal in a CMU uniform.
• A second half surge by Portland in the 65th minute supplied a quality opportunity for a score, but once again Lauefer was up to the challenge as she saved a quick header delivered from freshman Ellie Boon off a set piece. Pilot midfielder Boon failed to find the back of the net again only a minute later when Lauefer extended to block her strike aimed at the corner of the net.
• Chippewa junior forward Laura Gosse and junior midfielder Emily Cooksey also applied pressure on Portland’s defense both recording shots on goal. Cooksey has tallied a shot on goal in every game this season for CMU.
• The scoreless tie was broken with just nine minutes left in the match when Ellen Parker scored her second goal of the season with a strike from inside the box. The goal was supplemented by an assist from Ellie Boon, her first assist of the season.
• The Chippewas will conclude its west coast trip on Sunday when CMU takes on the Washington Huskies at 12 p.m. PT at Merlo Field in Portland, Ore.