By Justin Woods, For The Miami Student
The Miami University women's soccer team (2-0) started the season where it left off in 2013, defeating Butler University (1-1) and Purdue University (1-1) to claim the Boilermaker Challenge Cup title.
Despite being outshot by the Butler Bulldogs 15-8 in Sunday's tournament clinching game, the RedHawks picked up a late goal to close out the competition with a 1-0 victory.
"Butler is a hard team to play against - they are very well organized," Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. "We didn't come out aggressive enough, but we got things sorted out at halftime."
Freshman substitute Kat Zalar's goal in the 77th minute proved to be the difference in the tight contest.
"Kat picked off an errant goal kick and took a great first touch," Kramig said. "She showed a lot of composure and finished it off as cool as can be."
Miami got things rolling Friday by defeating Purdue 1-0 after persistent RedHawk offensive pressure forced a Purdue own goal. The 'Hawks looked the better side throughout the game, controlling the tempo and owning the majority of the possession.
"We played a disciplined game against Purdue," Kramig said. "We executed the gameplan and the kids went right at them. That's how you have to do it against Big Ten teams."
Miami used 10 substitutes in each game, with goalkeeper Danielle Wiseman the only RedHawk to play a full 90 minutes on the weekend.
As high temperatures and humidity took their toll on the players, Miami was able to send out fresh units while Butler made five substitutions and Purdue made only four.
Senior midfielder Kelsey Dinges thinks the RedHawks' depth is a massive advantage.
"This year we have so many players and when someone subs in, the caliber doesn't go down," Dinges said. "Every player on this team is a great player. They could easily be starters, and that's nice to have."
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Dinges and Wiseman were named tournament Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP, respectively. Wiseman had a weekend to remember, recording nine saves and shutting out both opponents in her first two collegiate starts.
"It's an accomplishment, but it's more of an accomplishment for the team," Wiseman said. "There are 10 people in front of me doing the work. I'm just cleaning up."
Kramig is glad the senior keeper is getting her opportunity to shine.
"To see Danielle finally have her chance and rise to the occasion the way that she has - I couldn't be more pleased for her," Kramig said. "Not everybody can say they shut out Purdue in their first start."
Wiseman believes last weekend's success was important and will push the 'Hawks to continue their winning ways Sunday at Northwestern University.
"[The team atmosphere] is very positive," Wiseman said. "I'm happy we came off with such a great start. We know this momentum will carry us into next weekend."
This article was published under in the August 26, 2014 edition of The Miami Student under the title, Miami opens season with Boilermaker Cup title."