By Justin Woods, For The Miami Student
Photo by Phill Arndt, The Miami Student
Most of us don't work Sundays, but for the Miami University soccer team, it was just another day at the office.
In its first home game of the season, Miami (4-1) claimed the win in convincing 3-0 fashion over the Indiana University - Purdue University Mastodons (1-6).
After an anxious, untidy start to the game, Miami settled down and took complete control, outshooting IPFW 28-3.
"It's the old John Wooden thing - play quickly but don't rush," Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. "We talked about being a tad more deliberate with what we're doing in the final third and a little more controlled. I think it worked."
The first Miami goal came at the 25 minute mark as a result of senior midfielder Kelsey Dinges' quick turn on the right side of the box and powerful strike into the far corner of the net.
The RedHawks found a more consistent run of play after Dinges' goal and entered halftime with a 1-0 lead. Miami added scores from freshman forward Kat Zalar in the 51st minute and sophomore midfielder Jenna Weiner in the 86th minute.
"Today was an important game for us momentum-wise because we're coming off a few big wins," Zalar said. "It was great for us to come out in our first home game with a bang and win 3-0."
The crucial second goal was Zalar's second of the season. The freshman struck the game winner against Butler University, leading the RedHawks to the Boilermaker Challenge Cup title.
"Never could I have imagined coming in my freshman year scoring two goals in the first few games," Zalar said. "It's been amazing. As a team we're playing amazing. We're all playing really well together."
Rock solid defense once again proved to be the hallmark of the RedHawks as Sunday's shutout was Miami's third in five tries. In contrast, it was the first time the 'Hawks have scored three goals in a single game all season.
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"We were very aggressive," Kramig said. "We were a little bit more aggressive in and around the penalty area looking to take a few more shots. It's hard to score if you don't shoot the ball."
Before the game, the RedHawks hosted a picnic for McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital cancer patients and their families. Fans had the opportunity to celebrate Miami goals by supporting the Pam Porter Endowment, which benefits the oncology unit at McCullough-Hyde. Donation buckets will be passed around following every Miami home goal this season.
The RedHawks take the field again 4 p.m. Friday against Marshall University at Miami Soccer Field.