'Hawks blank Bobcats, 3-0
Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Updated: Sunday, February 14, 2010 23:02
In the final home game for the seniors on the Miami University women's soccer team, it was a freshman who kick-started the team to victory.
Although Miami would tack on two insurance goals, Jodi Zwingelberg's 17th minute goal proved to be all Miami needed as the RedHawks (6-7-2 overall, 3-3-2 MAC) defeated Ohio University 3-0 Sunday at Miami Soccer Field.
The victory was a much needed one, as it came on the heels of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of University of Akron Friday, and put the 'Hawks in seventh place in the Mid-American Conference standings. Only the top eight teams advance to the MAC Tournament.
"I think we all showed up and came out to play and didn't let anything else come up and affect our play," Zwingelberg said. "It means a lot beating the number one team (which Ohio was in the MAC). We know we can do it, we just have to go out and perform every day."
Miami hardly let Ohio have a say as they out shot the Bobcats 25-10. At the 35-minute mark, a header from Jackie Hardek gave the RedHawks a commanding 2-0 lead going into halftime.
In a fitting end to her last home game, senior Kathleen Vistica knocked in the last goal off the crossbar for the 3-0 finale.
"It's kind of crazy to think that four years have already passed, but we just tried to treat this like any other game," Vistica said. "It was a big game but we're fighting to get into the (MAC) tournament right now and we know that every game we have to win."
Despite splitting the weekend action, the RedHawks' solid defense continued to be a common theme. Miami has given up only one goal in its last four games, as freshman Krista Pace has all but shut down the opposition. While Pace and Shannon Chew both saw time in goal over the weekend, Pace has won the starting gig over her senior teammate after a tightly contested audition in the season's infancy.
Even in limiting the opposition offensively, Friday's loss to Akron led the team to do some soul-searching as they held an impromptu team meeting Saturday.
"We talked about a lot of stuff and put a lot of things onto the table and showed we're just not going away," Vistica said. "We needed to come together and put everything that has happened to us behind us and really approach everything in front of us like it's a MAC Tournament game."
The RedHawks still have three conference games to go before the postseason play begins, but all will be away from the confines of Miami Soccer Field. MAC cellar-dwellers Western Michigan and Northern Illinois await the 'Hawks this weekend, but the team must face first-place Ball State to finish their season.
The team understands their precarious situation, yet remains undaunted by their task.
"On any day, any team can beat any given team in the MAC," Vistica said. "There's not a lot of difference between eighth place in the MAC and first place."