’Hawks prepare for Marshall match
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 00:09
It’s back to the drawing board for the Miami University soccer team (3-4-0) as it prepares to take on Marshall University (4-2-1) on the road Sunday.
After the Redhawks suffered two defeats last weekend in which they surrendered eight goals total, head coach Bobby Kramig held an extended film session Tuesday in the hopes of diagnosing his team’s defensive woes.
“We pulled out on the video every single goal that we’ve given up in the last three games,” Kramig said. “We went through each and every one of them and we were looking for common threads. We found a number of things, so our strategy here is to fix the big things first, fix the things that are the most fixable.”
Team captain and junior defender Courtney Zanotti said the team is working hard in practice to eliminate defensive mistakes.
“We’re working on putting pressure on the ball,” Zanotti said. “Maintaining a good shape in the back. We’ve been playing really good teams, much higher competition than what we had last year. I think that it’s just a matter of getting coordinated against these high pressure teams and finding our rhythm.”
While the RedHawks’ defense is still a work in progress, Marshall has been rather stout defensively through the early portion of the schedule. The Thundering Herd has surrendered an average of only 0.71 goals per game.
Offensively, Marshall boasts a balanced attack, as its three leading scorers – senior forward Kristine Culicerto, sophomore forward Erin Simmons and junior forward Myka Demarco – have six points each.
While the focus lately has been on the ’Hawks struggling defense, Kramig said he believes this has obscured the team’s recent offensive success.
“I think that it would be a mistake to get so caught up in the fact that we haven’t won in the last three games that you forget about all the good things that we’re doing,” Kramig said. “The fact of the matter is that we’ve scored nearly three goals per game against three pretty good teams. Not many people can say that. That’s a hugely positive thing. That’s something that we can take pride in.”
One player whose offensive success hasn’t gone unnoticed is senior midfielder Katy Dolesh. The team captain was named Mid-American Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week for her effort last weekend. Dolesh scored three goals over the two games. It is the third time she has earned the honor in her career; She won it twice as a sophomore in the 2011 season.
Dolesh said she was happy to be recognized for the achievement.
“I’m really excited about it,” Dolesh said. “I definitely feel that I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Although we have had outcomes of losses, we still have been playing really good soccer, which is something to be proud of. It’s just a great feeling and now it’s just time to get the wins in there.”
Kramig was enthusiastic in his praise for Dolesh.
“I’m very proud of her and I think that it was absolutely well deserved,” Kramig said. “She is arguably in my mind one of the best players in our conference. She’s a very dangerous player. When she goes out there and executes like that, it’s a testament to not only her talent and knowledge, but to her work ethic.”
The match against Marshall is the RedHawks’ last non-conference game. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. Sunday.