’Hawks tie Cards, prep for ’Cats
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012 13:10
After a lengthy regular season, the Miami University soccer team is now gearing up for the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament as the top overall seed. Miami enters the tournament at 16-2-1 (10-0-1) on the season, coming off a 1-1 tie in the regular season finale vs. Ball State University. This is the team’s best regular season finish since 2002.
Ball State came out very aggressive on the offensive attack Thursday, pushing the ball into Miami’s defensive zone early and often. The RedHawks were able to keep the Cardinals from striking a shot until about 25 minutes into the game.
Miami wasted little time going up on Ball State however, as freshman forward Haley Walter was able to find the back of the net in the 11th minute off a corner kick by senior captain Jess Kodiak. Despite the goal, Miami remained disjointed.
The uncharacteristic lackluster play made the ’Hawks pay in the 38th minute. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Allison Norenberg let a shot slip through her hands, after catching the ball.
Miami saw the same pressure and continued to play sluggish soccer in the second half, until the last 10 minutes of the game. The RedHawks tried to find the net on an onslaught of shots, but was unable to finish, often missing high and squandering breaks with numbers advantages.
“I think us not finishing today was a lack of focus,” Head Coach Bobby Kramig said. “I don’t think we brought the energy required to win the game. I thought we lacked focus and competitive spirit. Winning games is hard, and it takes all you’ve got, but we played about 60-70 percent all day.”
Miami’s offensive pressure continued in the two overtime periods, but finishing through shots plagued the ’Hawks yet again.
The RedHawks finished the game with a 20-11 advantage on shots, an eerily similar statistic to the team’s last loss to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Finishing on goal was the team’s weakness then too.
“We talked about that game,” Kramig said. “The good news is that we won 11 straight after that game. We’ve got a history of self-correcting and taking on the challenge of bouncing back. We’ve got responsible players on our team, and they won’t walk away from this without learning a lesson. I’m confident we’ve still got a lot of good soccer left in us this year.”