RedHawks play Friday at 4 p.m. in Charlottesville, Va. in NCAA Tournament
No. 24 Miami travels to Charlottesville, Va. for an NCAA Tournament second round match against No. 15/19 and third-seeded Duke on Friday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at the University of Virginia’s Klöckner Stadium. The contest will be Miami’s first neutral site game of the season. No. 2/3 and second-seeded Virginia then takes on Rutgers at 7 p.m. in the second second-round match of the day. The winners of Friday’s matches will meet in the third round on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. also at Klöckner Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT
The RedHawks defeated No. 20/25 Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last Sunday, Nov. 11, 3-2, in overtime at UT’s Regal Soccer Stadium. Sophomore Kelsey Dinges scored with only nine seconds remaining in regulation to pull Miami level at 2-2 and force overtime. Junior Kayla Zakrzewski then scored 4:43 into the extra session to lift the RedHawks to the win. Dinges earned the assist on the game-winning goal, as well. Junior Katy Dolesh scored Miami’s other goal, which tied the game at 1-1 midway through the first half. The win was Miami’s first ever over an SEC foe.
Miami has never faced Duke in women’s soccer, nor have the RedHawks played Virginia or Rutgers. In fact, Miami has played just one ACC opponent in program history, falling to Virginia Tech, 2-0, in 2003.
MIAMI’S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Miami is in its fourth NCAA Tournament in program history in 2012 as the RedHawks are 3-3-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The RedHawks advanced to the second round of the tournament for the third straight time this year winning its first-round match in both 2001 and 2002. In 2001, the ‘Hawks topped West Virginia, 1-0, before falling to Dayton in the second round, while in 2002, Miami beat Michigan State, 2-1, before being bounced by Michigan in the second round, 4-0. Miami’s first NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2000 as the RedHawks lost to Michigan in double overtime.
Duke (13-5-2), the defending National Runner-Up from last year, is coming off a 6-0 win over Loyola (Maryland) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last Saturday. The Blue Devils finished sixth in the ACC with a 5-3-2 mark and lost in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament to Wake Forest, 1-0, in overtime. Duke boasts the second-best offense in the country, averaging 2.90 goals per game. Laura Weinberg leads Duke with 38 points on a team-best 15 goals and eight assists with her points and goals totals ranking in the top 15 nationally. Kim DeCesare is second on the team with 12 goals and 30 points while Cassie Pecht has a team-high 13 assists, which ties for second nationally. Defensively, the Blue Devils hold a 1.07 goals-against average with Tara Campbell seeing most of the time in net. Campbell has started in all 20 games and has a 1.15 GAA, a .687 save percentage and three shutouts.
Miami is riding a school-record 16-game unbeaten streak into Friday’s match, going 15-0-1 during that span. The RedHawks have also won a school-record 20 games this year, including going 10-0-0 on the road, one of just two teams nationally to be perfect on the road this season (with Stanford). The 20 wins top the 19 wins set in 2002. The 20 wins are also the most in the country this year.
Miami won both the Mid-American Conference Regular-Season and Tournament titles in 2012. The MAC regular-season title was the second in program history, also winning it in 2002, while Miami won tournament titles three straight years from 2000-2002. Miami’s 10-0-1 record in league play marked just the second time in MAC history a team went unbeaten in conference action, joining Central Michigan’s 2009 team (9-0-2).
The RedHawks boast MAC Offensive Player of the Year senior Jess Kodiak, who has team bests of 36 points, 12 goals and 12 assists. The 12 assists are a Miami single-season record while she is one of just two players in the NCAA Tournament with double-digit goals and assists (per collegesoccer360.com), along with Boston College’s Kristen Mewis. Kodiak’s 12 assists tie for fifth nationally.
Miami’s offense ranks ninth in the country averaging 2.57 goals per game. Sophomore Kelsey Dinges is just behind Kodiak with 11 goals and 29 points while junior Kayla Zakrzewski has 10 assists and 28 points. Junior Katy Dolesh and MAC Freshman of the Year Haley Walter both have at least nine goals and 26 points as well. Kodiak, Dinges, Zakrzewski and Dolesh were all named First-Team All-MAC while Walter was named to the Second Team.
The RedHawks have pitched 10 shutouts this year, which ties the school record set in 2002. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Allison Norenberg has been in net for eight herself, while combining for the other two clean sheets. Miami has a 0.85 GAA, which is 49th nationally.