RedHawks Finish Non-Conference Slate at Home

OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami soccer team’s slate of challenging non-conference match-ups concludes this weekend as the RedHawks host Marshall and Illinois State on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Friday’s contest against the Thundering Herd begins at 4 p.m., while Sunday’s contest against the Redbirds begins at 1 p.m. The match on Sunday will also be Miami’s Senior Day, where it will honor seniors Kelsey Dinges, Olivia Evans, Hailey Pleshakov, Danielle Wiseman and Courtney Zanotti prior to kickoff.

The RedHawks (4-1) have won their past two matches, including last Sunday’s 3-0 home opening win over IPFW. After scoring just three times in its first three contests, MU has found the net five times in its past two outings. During those two wins against Louisville and IPFW, the RedHawks have outshot opponents 34-8, including a decided 28-3 edge against the Mastodons on Sunday.

Miami’s depth has been the catalyst of its stellar run through the non-conference slate. Twenty different players have stepped onto the pitch in at least four of the RedHawks’ five contests, with 21 seeing the field on three occasions. Kelsey Dinges’ five points (2 goals, 1 assist) lead the Red and White, though five players have scored at least one goal and nine have at least one point. Danielle Wiseman has started all five contests and boasts a 0.89 goals against average with a .750 save percentage and two solo shutouts. Vic Maniaci made her season debut in the second half of Sunday’s win over IPFW and did not allow a goal in her 45 minutes in net.

Marshall is off to a 3-2-2 start to the season and averages 1.86 goals per match while sporting a 1.48 goals against average. The Thundering Herd are 2-0-1 in their last three contests and are led by Kristine Culicerto’s nine points (4 goals, 1 assist), one of six Marshall players with four or more points this season. Lizzie Kish has played every second in goal and owns a 1.48 goals against average, a .667 save percentage and one solo shutout.

Illinois State enters play this weekend with a 5-3 record, posting a 2-0 mark against Mid-American Conference teams Northern Illinois (4-1) and Central Michigan (5-1). ISU has won its last two contests, with the most recent outing a 2-1 overtime triumph over Baylor. Rachel Tejada paces the Redbirds with 15 points (5 goals, 5 assists) and is the NCAA’s active career goal scoring leader. Tejada is one of six ISU players with two or more goals. The Redbirds average 2.62 goals per match and hold a 1.74 goals against average thus far this season. In net, Aryn Newsom has played all but 22 minutes and maintains a 1.67 goals against average with a .667 save percentage and two solo shutouts.

Live stats will be available for both contests courtesy of MURedHawks.com.

Free Kicks:

All-Time Series: Miami holds a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series against former MAC foe Marshall, though the Thundering Herd prevailed 1-0 in Huntington, West Virginia last season. The RedHawks also dropped a 3-2 decision against the Redbirds to open the 2013 campaign, which was the first-ever meeting between the programs.

More ‘Power’ to You: In one month, Miami has already proven its mettle against some of the top conferences in the country. MU opened the year in Big Ten country with a 1-0 win at Purdue, notching its third ever victory over a Big Ten opponent. The Red and White also posted a 2-1 win at Louisville on Sept. 7, their first victory over a current member of the ACC.

Shooting Around: After putting up only 29 shots in its first four contests combined, Miami erupted to outshoot IPFW 28-3 in a 3-0 win on Sept. 14. Prior to that, the RedHawks had not attempted more than eight shots in their previous three matches.

Shutting it Down: Miami put together one of its better defensive efforts of the year at Louisville on Sept. 7. The RedHawks held the Cardinals to only five shot attempts, only two of which were on goal, in a 2-1 win. That marked the fewest shots allowed by Miami this season.

Solid Starts: Even with just a five-match sample, Miami’s 4-1 start historically has meant big things going forward for the season, as evidenced by the previous times the RedHawks had one loss or were unbeaten through five contests.

Year Through 5 Final
1999 5-0 17-3-1; MAC Tournament finalist
2002 3-1-1 19-3-2; MAC Champions, NCAA Second Round
2012 4-1 20-3-1; MAC Champions, NCAA Second Round

MAC Women’s Soccer Overpowering Competition in 2014

OXFORD, Ohio —  Less than a month into the 2014 season, Mid-American Conference women’s soccer has proven to be a thorn in the side of power conferences. With several team wins against the Atlantic Coast Conference, The Big Ten and Pac-12, a number of MAC teams have a good shot at not only a successful season, but a berth in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

In their season opener, the Miami University RedHawks traveled to Purdue in the Boilermaker Challenge Cup and defeated the Boilermakers 1-0. That win marked the first time in school history that Miami has beaten Purdue.

“The MAC is no longer a secret,” said Miami head coach Bobby Kramig. Kramig feels strongly that the NCAA results with the competitors the MAC teams have played, shows the strong development of the conference.

The same weekend, Eastern Michigan topped Indiana, 2-0. Indiana made the second round of the NCAA tournament just last year and finished the year ranked 30th in the final NCAA RPI rankings.

The following weekend, Kent State traveled to Las Vegas and matched up against Colorado, a Sweet 16 team that finished 22nd in the final RPI a year ago. The Golden Flashes 1-0 win against the Buffaloes was yet another big win for the MAC. Two days later, Toledo faced off against Ohio State University and snatched a 1-0 victory in double overtime. Ohio State has made the past five NCAA Tournaments and was ranked 55th in the RPI. In 2010, the team made it to the College Cup as well.

“It’s a testament to taking a risk in scheduling these schools,” said Toledo head coach Brad Evans.

This past weekend, Eastern Michigan beat Oregon State University 1-0 and tied Oregon 1-1. In 2011, Oregon State made the second round of the NCAA tournament.  That same weekend, Miami beat Louisville 2-1 to give them a win over an ACC school, one that qualified for last year’s NCAA Tournament and made a Sweet 16 appearance as recently as 2011. The Cardinals finished the year 27th in last season’s final RPI.

The success of the MAC is something that has built over the last few seasons. In 2012, Miami posted a dominant 20-3-1 record en route to winning the MAC regular season and tournament titles before defeating Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament. The RedHawks were joined by the 15-7-1 Central Michigan Chippewas in the 2012 NCAA field, marking the first time in league history two MAC schools made the field of 64. The results have not stopped with the regular season for the MAC, as the league has seen a team advance to the second round in three of the past five NCAA Tournaments, including each of the last two.

“Those of us who have been in the MAC for a long time, we already knew this. I think that the rest of the country is now starting to clue in,” said Kramig.

Soccer Hosts Memorial Picnic on Sunday

OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University soccer team is once again holding its annual picnic for past and present patients at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital’s Oncology Unit when the RedHawks host IPFW on Sunday.

Sunday’s picnic, which is sponsored by Miami Soccer, takes place near Miami Soccer Field and begins at 12:30 p.m. The RedHawks’ home opener against the Mastodons begins at 1 p.m.

The picnic is held by the RedHawks in support of the Pam Porter Fund, named in memory of head coach Bobby Kramig’s sister-in-law, who lost her battle to cancer over four years ago at the age of 37. Pam worked as the media relations contact for the soccer team for two years while attending Miami University. The mission of the Pam Porter Fund is to assist in providing care, comfort and compassion to patients and their families who are receiving treatment in the MHMH oncology unit.

“The team has been involved with the Pam Porter Fund since its inception in 2011,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “Pam was an integral part of our soccer staff for two years and while we mourn her loss, we value the opportunity to do something positive for the Oxford community in her memory. Oxford is our home too and doing something for our hometown and our people is very important to us.”

Due to the construction happening near the soccer field, everyone in attendance must use the entrance to the stadium off Bonham Road near Yager Stadium.

Fans can support the fund at each home Miami soccer match. Every time Miami scores a goal, a bucket will be passed around for donations to the Pam Porter Fund. Karen and Bobby Kramig and the team ask fans to join them in remembering Pam and celebrating each Miami goal by making a donation to the fund.

RedHawks Down Louisville, 2-1

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Goals in the first and second half propelled the Miami University women’s soccer team to a 2-1 triumph at Louisville on Sunday afternoon. The win lifted the RedHawks to 3-1 on the season, while the Cardinals dropped to 2-2.

Miami struck first as freshman midfielder Amy Malone scored her first collegiate goal after a scramble in the box on a senior midfielder Kelsey Dinges corner kick at the 39:10 mark. It was the only goal of the first half for either team as the RedHawks carried a 1-0 lead into the break.

Just over four minutes into the second half, Louisville evened the tally at one goal apiece when Lexie Nieboda scored at the 49:22 mark. Miami quickly fired back to reclaim the lead when Dinges scored her first goal of the season, a game-winner, off a junior forward Haley Walter assist in the 56th minute to hand Miami a 2-1 lead.

“I’m really proud of our kids and pleased for them,” said Miami head coach Bobby Kramig. “It’s been a tough two weeks of practices. We pushed them hard physically and asked a lot of them. They worked hard and really responded positively to that. Today is a great reward for all of the hard work they’ve been putting in. I really liked their attitude and approach to the game. The team did a great job of stepping up and executing the game plan. We asked them to play aggressively, play forward and get after Louisville a bit, and they did that. I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of them.”

Senior goalkeeper Danielle Wiseman picked up her third win of the season, recording one save in the winning effort.

After playing four straight matches on the road to start the season, Miami returns to Oxford for a seven-match home stretch beginning with a 1 p.m. contest with IPFW at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14.

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.