’Hawks snap five game losing streak with victory
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 02:10
For the first time in three weeks, the coaches and players on the Miami University soccer team can exhale after putting an end to a five game losing streak.
The Redhawks (4-6-0) split two road games over the weekend, falling to the University of Akron (4-4-2) 2-1 Friday before shutting out the University at Buffalo (3-4-2) 1-0 Sunday to end the skid.
Team captain and senior forward Katy Dolesh said she was happy to finally get a win.
“It feels great,” Dolesh said. “Everyone’s super-excited about it. It felt like a good win. It felt like we earned it.”
In the first half, the teams were locked in a dead heat, as Miami led in shots 5-2 but was unable to find the net. However, the ’Hawks scored in the 48th minute.
The RedHawks’ earned a corner kick after an attack spearheaded by the offensive combination of Dolesh and junior forward Hailey Pleshakov led to a shot by Dolesh that was blocked. Pleshakov placed the ball in the perfect spot on the corner kick, lofting it into the penalty area where Dolesh was able to rise above the defense and head it home for the score.
“I got a little [angry] because the defender deflected my shot,” Dolesh said. “I was a little more determined to put the corner in. Hailey put the corner kick in and I just did whatever I could to get the ball and make contact with it. It was just a really awesome, exciting feeling to score first finally and be ahead.”
It was the only score that MU would need as its defense blanked the Bulls for 90 minutes.
Head coach Bobby Kramig said he knew Buffalo would present a tough challenge to the ’Hawks.
“Playing at Buffalo is extremely difficult,” Kramig said. “We’ve always struggled up there in the past. We had every expectation that this was going to be a very tough game to win.”
The win at Buffalo was preceded by a 2-1 loss at Akron. In that match, the Zips stormed out to a first half lead on a goal by junior forward Lani Smith. Smith tacked on another goal in the 57th minute of the second half. Pleshakov responded with a quick goal in the 59th minute, but that was all Miami had to offer offensively.
The RedHawks’ defense has been much improved recently, as they have allowed only three goals in their last three games combined. Kramig said he believes his team is getting better on that side of the ball.
“I feel like we’ve been making progress,” Kramig said “If you look at our results the last couple of games, the defense has held up pretty well … if you don’t give up any goals you can’t lose, and that’s certainly where it needed to start with us.”
Miami’s next match is 4 p.m. Friday when it hosts Ohio University.