OXFORD, Ohio – A dominant possession game and goals early in both halves propelled the Miami soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Toledo at Miami Soccer Field on Friday night.
MU’s shutout is its second straight as it moves to 8-2 on the season and 2-1 in Mid-American Conference play with the win.
The RedHawks got on the board in the second minute when Kelsey Dinges got her head on a Shannon Stearns free kick and redirected it past UT keeper Sam Tiongson for her sixth goal of the year. Miami threatened to extend the lead to two when Haley Walter fed Jess Bronke in front on a cross, but her shot rang off the crossbar and stayed out.
“The early goal helped us out a lot,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “It made Toledo press forward a bit. This was a physical game today, but our kids stayed on task. They stayed focused and did a good job today.”
Miami put up several other quality opportunities in a first half that it outshot Toledo (3-7-1, 0-3 MAC) 12-3. Kat Zalar headed a shot off a corner kick that went just wide in the 22nd minute and Dinges got a shot off in traffic off another corner that went wide of the keeper, but was blocked by a UT defender and cleared. With time winding down, Lauren Kelly gathered a ball at the left side and launched a shot from 40 yards out that Tiongson had to dive to punch wide of the cage. Despite the territorial edge, the RedHawks entered halftime with just the 1-0 lead off Dinges’ strike in the second minute of play.
The Red and White continued to dominate play in the second half and found an insurance goal in the 56th minute. Dinges’ corner kick cross was punched out of traffic by Tiongson, but it went right to Stearns, who headed the ball in for her first collegiate goal mere seconds after checking in to the contest.
“Kelsey is having a great year, but we don’t want to be one dimensional,” Kramig said. “Shannon played a very good game today and spreading out our scoring the way we have been leading which will create even more opportunities for everyone else.”
Miami continued to control play in the second half and ended up owning a 6-2 advantage in shots over the final 45 minutes of play. The Redhawks had one more strong chance in the 68th minute when the ball was fed to Amy Malone in the middle, but her shot went just wide of the left post. Defensively, Miami did not allow a shot for the final 24:36.
The RedHawks outshot the Rockets 18-5 overall and held 6-1 edge in corner kicks. Dinges fired six of the Red and White’s 18 shots and netted her fifth game-winning goal this season. Vic Maniaci made her third-straight start and stopped all three shots she faced to record her second solo shutout of the year.
Miami returns to the pitch against Central Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m.