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Miami Soccer closes out non-conference play

Miami senior defender Courtney Zanotti looks to clear the ball during a recent game. Zanotti will be honored during senior day Sunday against Illinois State.

Photo by Lauren Olson, Photography Editor

By Justin Woods, For The Miami Student

The Miami University soccer team (4-1) is coming off another positive result ready to hit the heart of the season in full stride.

With the Mid-American Conference season looming, the upcoming matchups against Marshall University (3-2-2) and Illinois State University (5-3) mark the end of non-conference play and the beginning of a series of six straight two-game weekends.

"Part of the test this weekend is the Friday-Sunday format," head coach Bobby Kramig said. "Our returning players have been playing [two games a week] for however long they've been here, but our freshmen haven't seen it yet. We've been working hard on our fitness the past couple of weeks and hopefully it pays off."

Junior winger Haley Walter knows the upcoming weekends will be demanding, but she feels the RedHawks have a leg up on their competition.

"It's gonna be more work and you're gonna be tired, but that's how everyone's playing," Walter said. "We have a lot of depth on our team, which is a huge advantage when it comes to these multiple game [weekends]. We can rotate people in and keep people fresh."

Last year, Miami fell to both Marshall and Illinois State by one-goal margins. Kramig hopes things will be different this time around.

"We're looking to set that right," Kramig said. "We wanna win, we wanna be successful and we wanna get a result."

The Sunday game against Illinois State also marks senior day. Courtney Zanotti, Danielle Wiseman, Kelsey Dinges, Hailey Pleshakov and Olivia Evans will be recognized and thanked for their lasting contributions to the program.

"Our senior class has been fantastic," Kramig said. "We've got terrific leadership on the team and it starts with them. When I think about our senior class I think about great moments that I've seen from them over the course of the last four years. I'm sure that we'll see more great moments from them as this season progresses."

Walter, just one year away from her own senior day, expects Sunday to be bittersweet.

"It's exciting to have a day for them," Walter said. "I don't want to think about them leaving, but we have a long way to go. We have a full season ahead to be with them and play with them - that's exciting."

The 'Hawks host Marshall 4 p.m. Friday and Illinois State 1 p.m. Sunday.