MSU's Olivia Stander fired a shot from just inside the 18 yard box just over a minute into the first half for the game's only goal.
The Broncos outshot the Spartans 11-8 with shots on goal being tied at four-all. Spartan Sophomore goalkeeper Courtney Clem made four saves to earn the shutout, while WMU keeper Michelle Watson made three. Anina Cicerone led all Broncos with three shots but was unable to land any on goal.
"I was happy with the effort that we gave and the response we had after we went down in the first minute," said head coach Nate Norman. "We have nine days off now and we have to get better in each box before conference play starts. Despite the set back I am still very excited for MAC play to begin."
Western Michigan opens up MAC play hosting Toledo on Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. for a rematch of the 2011 MAC Tournament Championship game.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Central Michigan women’s soccer team turned in a dominant defensive first half, but couldn’t capitalize on key offensive opportunities in a 2-0 loss at Purdue Wednesday in the non-conference finale.
The Chippewas (4-3-1) allowed only two Boilermaker (5-2-1) shots in the first half, none on goal, but Purdue charged back in the second half with two goals on three on-target shots.
The offense had its chances with seven shots on goal on 14 total shots, but theChippewas couldn’t finish the opportunities they earned in the final third of the field. In total, the Chippewas had more than twice as many attempts on target as the Boilermakers, seven to three.
"We held our own in the first half and had some good pressure on the ball at times, and I thought the majority of the play was in midfield moving into Purdue'sside of the field," head coach Neil Stafford said. "It was a surprise how caught-off-guard we were in the second half.
"If it takes a loss to Purdue and a poor team effort to get our heads right and get refocused for the MAC, I'll take a 2-0 loss to Purdue. I have full confidence these ladies will get together and hash things out as a team, and come backfrom this stronger."
Defensively the Chippewas turned in a lock-down performance allowing just two total shots in the first half, the third time this season they have allowed fewer than two shots in a half. Senior defenders Bailey Brandon and Katie Slaughter were the only two of 21 Chippewas who saw game action to play the full 90 minutes.
Sophomore Laura Gosse led the offense in the first half with two attempts on goal in the 24th and 30th minutes. Gosse nearly found the back of the net on the secondattempt, but Purdue goalkeeper Clara Kridler made a diving save to the leftpost to preserve the 0-0 tie.
Starting senior goalkeeper Stefanie Turner was spared by the CMU defense from having to make a save in her one half of action. Sophomore Grace Labrecque tended to the goal in the second half.
Both CMU and Purdue asserted themselves offensively right from the first whistle of the second half. Freshman forward Danielle Rotheram had a one-on-one opportunity against Kridler just three minutes into the half, but the Purdue goalkeeper was able to make the save. The Boilermakers answered with six shots in seven minutes before connecting on the match’s opening goal in the 56th minute on a give-and-go on the left side from Purdue’s Alex Hairston to Taylor Niewoit, who found the back of the net.
Purdue continued to put pressure on the CMU defense with two more shots in the following three minutes, one of which was saved by Labrecque and another that went off the post.
The Chippewas answered back ten minutes later with back-to-back shots of their own from junior midfielder Kaely Schlosser in the 67th minute and senior midfielder Ashley Mejilla in the 69th.
The Boilermakers netted their second goal in the 74th minute off a Chinyelu Asher goal set up by Hadley Stuart’s penetration through the defensive line into the penalty area.
A late comeback fell short as shots on goal by Gosse and junior forward Morgan Wilcoxon were saved in the 87th and 89th minutes, respectively.
Gosse and Wilcoxon led the Chippewas with two shots on goal apiece, while Rotheram attempted four total shots.
The Chippewas have a week-and-a-half break before opening up the MAC portion of the schedule on Friday, Sep. 21 against Kent State in the official home opener.