Wildcats End RedHawks Unbeaten Streak

EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern scored three-straight goals to dig the Miami soccer team into a hole it could not overcome in a 3-1 loss on Sunday.

The setback is MU’s first of the season as it falls to 2-1. It is also the Red and White’s first loss since suffering a 2-1 defeat to Akron on Sept. 27, 2014, snapping a 14-match unbeaten streak that saw Miami go 10-0-4.

“I give a lot of credit to Northwestern today,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “They have improved a lot as a program they deserve credit for this win. That said, I think we can take some positives away from today. We knew it was going to be a difficult playing surface and that is why we scheduled this game. We needed exposure to this because we’ll play on similar surfaces a couple times during conference play. We struggled controlling the ball, especially in the first half, and we were never able to really get in the flow. We learned important lessons and this is an experience that will help us in the long run.”

Northwestern (3-1) drew first blood in the 22nd minute when Addie Steiner scored to put Miami in a 1-0 hole. That goal was the first allowed by the Red and White this season. The score would hold going into halftime as the Wildcats outshot the RedHawks by a 10-0 margin in the first 45 minutes of play.

Steiner would put the Wildcats ahead 2-0 in the 54th minute with her second tally of the evening as Nandi Mehta picked up an assist. NU grew its lead to three goals in the 66th minute as Sami Schrakamp and Michelle Manning combined to set up Kim Jerantowski to make it 3-0.

The RedHawks got on the board thanks to Haley Walter’s first goal of the year in the 75th minute, a strike that was created by Kelsey Dinges’ corner kick. That goal was MU’s first shot of the evening. From there, the RedHawks got some attack going and fired another shot on goal and two more corner kicks, but got no closer the rest of the way.

Northwestern held a 15-2 advantage in shots and posted a 10-7 edge in corner kicks. Danielle Wiseman made her third-straight start and stopped three of the five shots NU placed on goal.

The RedHawks return to action on Sept. 7 when they close out their season-opening four-match road trip at Louisville.

Soccer Faces Test at Northwestern

OXFORD, Ohio – With one successful trek through Big Ten country under its belt, the Miami University soccer team aims for a 3-0 start to the season when it travels to Northwestern on Sunday.

The RedHawks (2-0) are looking for their first 3-0 start since the 2010 when they square off with the Wildcats at 5 p.m. The last time Miami started the season 2-0 was in 2012, when it suffered a 2-1 loss to Northwestern at home.

On opening weekend, Miami managed to grind out a pair of 1-0 victories on the road. The Red and White opened the season last Friday with a 1-0 triumph over Purdue at the Boilermaker Challenge Cup. On Sunday, a late goal by freshman Kat Zalar proved the only one MU would need as it topped Butler by an identical 1-0 score to claim the tournament title. Senior goalkeeper Danielle Wiseman was named the Defensive MVP of the Boilermaker Challenge Cup after stopping nine total shots in her first two career starts, both solo shutouts. Kelsey Dinges (Offensive MVP), Jess Bronke, Courtney Zanotti and Rachel Marble were also placed on the weekend’s all-tournament team.

After opening the season with a 1-0 loss against Fairleigh Dickinson, Northwestern (2-1) has bounced back to win its last two matches. The Wildcats’ winning ways began with a 1-0 upset victory over then 15th-ranked Marquette last Sunday. NU followed that up with a dominant 6-0 home victory over UIC on Wednesday. Addie Steiner recorded a hat trick in the win over the Flames and has scored four of the Wildcats’ seven goals thus far. Northwestern has not allowed a goal in the last 233:07.

Live stats will be available for Sunday’s tilt, courtesy of NUSports.com.

Free Kicks

All-Time Series: Sunday will be just the second time Miami and Northwestern have met on the pitch. The Wildcats prevailed 2-1 in Oxford on Aug. 24, 2012, one of only three matches the RedHawks lost during the 2012 season.

Family Matters: There is a family bond connecting both Miami and Northwestern this weekend. Freshman forward/defender Jenny Barr, who has logged 57 minutes off the bench in the first two matches, has a sister, KK, who is a senior forward/defender for the Wildcats. Barr played in NU’s contest at MU in 2012, recording an assist that day.

Big Ten Matchup: Miami’s win over Purdue in last Friday’s season opener was its first ever victory over the Boilermakers. The win also improved MU to 3-11-1 all-time against the Big Ten Conference.

Patience Pays off for Wiseman: After waiting on the bench for three years, senior goalkeeper Danielle Wiseman finally got her chance to shine in net last weekend. Making her first two collegiate starts, Wiseman stopped all six shots Purdue placed on net and made three more saves against Butler to record back-to-back shutouts.

Can’t be Beat: The RedHawks are 10-0-4 in their last 14 matches after last weekend’s two wins. Their last loss came against Akron on Sept. 27, 2013. During that stretch, the RedHawks have shut out their opponents in 11 of 14 matches.

Clean Sheets: Miami has 14 shutouts in its last 23 matches dating back to last season, when it set a school record with 12 shutouts.

Zalar Goal Lifts RedHawks to Tournament Title

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the second-straight contest, the Miami University soccer team’s bench proved the difference in a 1-0 win over Butler on Sunday.

Freshman Kat Zalar scored her first-collegiate goal with 13:28 left in regulation to clinch the RedHawks (2-0) perfect opening weekend and subsequent tournament title at the Boilermaker Challenge Cup.

Butler controlled play for large stretches of the first half. The Bulldogs outshot the RedHawks 7-1 and had a 3-1 edge in corner kicks over the first 45 minutes of play, though only one BU shot made its way on goal, which was stopped by Danielle Wiseman. That left the contest still scoreless at halftime.

“Credit to Butler, they are a disciplined and well-organized team,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “They made things difficult for us. We weren’t really sure how to handle the situation and it was a good learning experience for our kids in terms of playing against teams that are set up like them. At halftime, we encouraged the team to play a little more aggressively. Once we did that, they loosened up a bit and we had some more success.”

The Red and White picked it up as the second half wore on and created more opportunities in the final regulation frame. After getting outshot by a 12-2 clip over the first 61:15, Miami attempted three-straight shots and had a pair of corner kick attempts over the next six minutes, but none found the net.

That all changed in the 77th minute when Zalar picked off goalkeeper Madison Card’s short play and fired into the net to give the Red and White a 1-0 lead with just over 13 minutes left to play. From there, the Red and White defense really locked things down and only allowed one more shot attempt the rest of the way to secure the tournament title.

“Kat took advantage of a misplay and did a great job on her first touch to gather the ball and finish,” Kramig said. “I felt we made some good adjustments defensively at halftime. We quit chasing the ball as much as we were in the first half.”

In her second-straight start in goal, Wiseman stopped three shots to post her second consecutive shutout. She stopped all nine shots she faced in 180 minutes of time in goal over the weekend. Wiseman was named the tournament’s Defensive MVP and was one of five RedHawks to earn a spot on the all-tournament team, joining Kelsey Dinges (Offensive MVP), Jess Bronke, Rachel Marble and Courtney Zanotti.

The Bulldogs ended up outshooting the RedHawks 15-8 and owned a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Play was much closer at both ends in the second half, however, as Butler held just an 8-7 edge in shots over the final 45 minutes of play.

Miami returns to the pitch on Aug. 31 when it travels to Northwestern.

RedHawks Blank Boilermakers 1-0 in Season Opener

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Miami University soccer team opened the 2014 season on a high note, topping Purdue, 1-0, in the Boilermaker Challenge Cup on Friday night.

The RedHawks (1-0) took advantage of an own goal in the 44th minute as Danielle Wiseman posted a shutout in her first-career start in goal.

“Any time you can get a win over a Big Ten team, you’ve done alright,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “Purdue is a fine team and tonight was a good, evenly played game. I’m proud of our kids, they worked hard and played well together. Our bench played terrific. We know going into the season that our bench would be a strength and it made the difference tonight by wearing them down.”

Miami territorially controlled most of the play in the first half, outshooting Purdue by a 7-3 count. Still, it appeared the contest would go into halftime scoreless until there was 1:20 remaining. The RedHawks put the ball behind the Boilermaker defense and Amy Malone narrowly missed finished the play. The ball found a Purdue defender, but Malone’s pressure forced an errant clearance attempt that went off a Purdue foot and into the net to give MU a 1-0 lead at the break.

“The goal was the result of good pressure by us,” Kramig said. “We got in behind their defense and played a great ball that Amy Malone nearly got to the end of. She forced Purdue’s defender into a rushed clearance and it went in.”

Purdue fired three early shots in the second half, but all of them went wide. However, Miami went on the offensive from there and nearly went up 2-0 in the 56th minute when Chloe Knue fired a shot towards an open net, but an oncoming Purdue defender got to the ball at the goal line to keep it a one-goal contest.

After only taking seven shots, none of which were on goal, over the first 64 minutes of play, the Boilermakers started to press the attack towards the end of the second half. Purdue fired eight shots over the final 26 minutes. Despite the extra numbers on the attack, the Red and White defense kept the Boilermakers from finding the equalizer to post. That win is Miami’s first victory in four tries (1-2-1) over Purdue.

“Congratulations to Danielle on getting the shutout,” Kramig said. “She’s been a great teammate for the last three years and I’m absolutely thrilled that she’s getting a chance to shine. She played well tonight.”

In her first collegiate start, Wiseman turned aside all four shots she faced to post her first-career shutout. The late Purdue surge gave it a slight 15-13 advantage in shot attempts while the Boilermakers also had a 7-4 edge in corner kicks.

Miami closes out its stint at the Boilermaker Challenge Cup on Sunday when it takes on Butler at 11 a.m.

RedHawks Begin Season at Purdue

OXFORD, Ohio – With a promising exhibition season in the rear view mirror, the 2014 season is nearly underway for the Miami University soccer team.

On Friday, the RedHawks’ fall campaign begins with a trip to West Lafayette, Indiana for the Boilermaker Challenge Cup. Miami opens the weekend tournament against host Purdue, a contest that kicks off on Friday at 7 p.m. The weekend concludes with a neutral site contest against Butler on Sunday, which starts at 11 a.m.

The RedHawks were tabbed to finish second in the MAC East Division in the league’s preseason coach’s poll. Miami has won the past two MAC East titles, including an overall regular season and MAC Tournament championship in 2012. Seven starters return from last season’s 11-6-4 squad that finished second in the overall league standings with a 7-1-3 MAC record.

MU’s returners include seniors Kelsey Dinges and Courtney Zanotti, who were both Second-Team All-MAC selections last fall. Dinges recorded a team-high 20 points on seven goals and six assists a year ago, which was the second-straight season she earned All-MAC recognition. Zanotti played a team-high 1,928 minutes for a defense that set a school record with 12 shutouts while recording a league-best 0.51 goals against average during MAC play. Other returning starters include 2012 MAC Freshman of the Year Haley Walter, fellow juniors Jess Bronke, Lauren Kelly and Hailey Pleshakov along with sophomores Rachel Marble and Shannon Stearns.

Miami went an unbeaten 1-0-1 during its exhibition slate, topping Radford 1-0 and playing Northern Kentucky to a 1-1 tie. During that stretch, the RedHawks outshot their opponents 40-13 and showcased impressive depth with its 11 newcomers playing extended minutes.

Purdue went 8-10-1 with a 3-8 mark in the Big Ten last fall. The Boilermakers return top scorer Maddy Williams, who posted 26 points on 10 goals and six assists as a freshman in 2013. She is one of six returning starters that Purdue has back in the fold.

Butler is coming off a 2013 campaign that saw it go 11-7-2 overall and 4-5 in the new look Big East Conference. The Bulldogs return eight starters and 22 letter winners, including Sophia Maccagnone and Elise Kotsakis, their top two scorers from a year ago who combined for 44 points on 16 goals and 12 assists in 2013.

Miami is winless (0-2-1) in three all-time meetings against Purdue and holds a 2-4-1 record all-time against Butler.

Live stats will be available for both contests this weekend. Friday’s tilt against Purdue will have a free audio broadcast available. Fans can also watch a video webcast for a fee.