Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – There will be no easing into for the Central Michigan soccer team in 2017.
The Chippewas open the campaign with an Aug. 18-20 road trip to Lawrence, Kan., where they will play Tulsa and Kansas. Five of CMU’s first six games are on the road. Two of those first six opponents, Kansas and Marquette, played in the Women’s College Cup in 2016.
Marquette is the defending BIG EAST regular-season champion, while Kansas finished second in the Big 12 last fall.
The Chippewas open at home against Robert Morris on Aug. 27. The pre-Mid-American Conference slate also includes Oakland, Loyola, Detroit Mercy and Mount St. Mary’s, which is coached by former CMU assistant Joe Nemzer.
The Chippewas finished 15-3-3 last season, 6-2-3 in the MAC. The 2017 roster will take on a significantly different look what with the loss to graduation of a half dozen mainstays.
“The schedule continues to raise the bar of expectation and positively prepares us for the MAC season,” said Peter McGahey, who is entering his fifth year as CMU’s head coach. “The quality of the opposition and the travel bonds the team and allows growth.
“A lot of the travel comes before school starts, comes over the long Labor Day weekend and occurs during times that balance out their student-athlete responsibilities. The exciting part is we’re going to put the team in a situation that we’re going to know who we are well before the MAC schedule.”
CMU opens the MAC schedule at Kent State, the defending league tournament champion, on Sept. 22. It goes to 2016 conference regular-season champion Ball State on Oct. 15.
The league home opener is Sept. 29 against Akron, and CMU closes the regular season with consecutive home games with Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.