Sophomore Emily Basten provided the late-game heroics, rocketing in a left-footed, arcing shot over the outstretched arms of the MSU goalkeeper from 16 yards out in the 89th minute.
Sophomore Eliza Van de Kerkhove initiated the game-winning play off a counter attack, smartly sending a crossing pass into the box from the right wing. The Spartan defense failed to clear the ball cleanly and Basten was in the right spot at the right time. Positioned on the left wing, the ball came to her foot and she sent it to the back of the net with her rising one-timer.
“I think it’s a great tribute to the girls in terms of the effort and attitude they put into the game today,” said McGahey. “I think it’s a fantastic way to start the season; to score a goal so late in the third. It’s a really tremendous start and an absolute tribute to the women’s character.”
Michigan State outshot CMU, 12-8, for the exhibition match, which was divided into three 30-minute periods. Senior Jennifer Gassman led the Chippewas with two shots while six others registered one each.
Junior Grace Labrecque started and played 60 total minutes in net, recording one save. Freshman Heather Laeufer supplanted Lebrecque between the pipes for the final 30 minutes, making one save, to secure the shutout.
“I thought defensively, in terms of the collective pressure we were able to put on the ball and, at times, to get them to play faster than they wanted to,” said McGahey. “I thought that was good. I think the most important part that defensively we did today is that we covered for each other. When something happened and it broke down, immediately, like in mid-season form, people swept in and covered and kept the game in front of us.”
Central Michigan will open the 2013 regular season at home next weekend when it hosts Detroit in a 5 p.m. match on Sunday, Aug. 25 at the CMU Soccer Complex.