Miami hopes to extend streak against OU, KSU
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 03:09
After winning its first two Mid-American Conference (MAC) games at home, the Miami University soccer team puts its 8-2 (2-0 MAC) record on the line in two weekend road games at Ohio University and Kent State University.
Both the Bobcats and Golden Flashes enter with winning records at 6-4 (1-1 MAC) and 5-2-2 (0-1-1 MAC), respectively.
“Better competition demands a better effort,” Head Coach Bobby Kramig said. “Things that we got away with this past weekend or against some of the weaker teams on our schedule, we’re not going to get away with. Both of those teams are capable of exposing a team’s weaknesses, but I think we’ll respond. The mood of practice this week is very confident, because our players know what they can do and what they’re up against.”
The RedHawks face Ohio 4 p.m. Friday. The Bobcats are looking to bounce back after their six-game winning streak was snapped Sunday at Central Michigan University.
If history is an indicator of things to come, this game will be close. The past three seasons Miami has beaten Ohio in overtime periods, coming from behind last season, as senior captain Jess Kodiak tied the game at one with just nine seconds left in regulation.
“We’ve been harping on putting teams away early,” junior forward Katy Dolesh said. “We haven’t had the best of luck, scoring right away. We’ve had chances, but haven’t capitalized all the time. That’s what we’ve worked on in practice the past few weeks.”
Despite giving up just eight goals in 10 games, Kramig is asking his team to step up its defensive pressure. The ’Hawks face two squads that have shown they can score multiple goals in any game.
“I think we need to be very good defensively on restarts,” Kramig said. “We especially need to be on our toes at Kent. They have a smaller field that makes everything more difficult. A throw-in can play like a corner there, so we need to be ready. Plus, the smaller field will present challenges for our speed. Our defense has kept us in games, where our offense struggled a bit. So, that’s going to continue to be our top priority.”
As for the RedHawks’ starting goalie, redshirt sophomore Allison Norenberg, Kramig is confident she will continue her outstanding play.
“The nice thing about having a team with the attacking players that we have is that Norenberg gets tested a lot more in practice than she ever does in games,” Kramig said. “She works hard, and is possibly the most improved player we have. That’s all credit to our conditioning and Nate [Lie], our defensive coach. The fact that she has five shutouts this year really shows the work she’s put in.”
Kent State has been in several tight games this year. The Golden Flashes play a scrappy and physical game, and four of their nine games have been decided by two goals or less.
“We are in great shape as a team,” freshman forward Morgan Beck said. “That’s been a huge part in all we’ve done so far, and it is going to be key to keeping up intensity against better teams. I know we’re going to have to be even more aggressive on offense, especially in the box. The earlier we break teams down, the easier the game becomes for us.”
Miami defeated both teams last year and hopes to improve to 4-0 in the MAC. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.