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’Hawks clinch second place MAC finish

By Justin Woods, For The Miami Student

After a double-overtime 1-0 victory at University of Akron Friday, the Miami University soccer team ran out of gas Sunday and fell 2-0 to Mid-American Conference leader University at Buffalo (12-2-3, 8-0-2 MAC).

The weekend-opening win over Akron (6-11-1, 2-8 MAC) extended Miami's unbeaten streak to eight games and increased its conference point tally to 22. The 'Hawks (13-3-1, 7-2-1 MAC) validated their dominant performance by finally finding the net in the second overtime period (104th minute) when freshman Maggie Scott picked the perfect time to notch her fourth goal of the season.

"Maggie had a great header on goal and followed her shot to get us the points," team captain Courtney Zanotti said. "We started off a little slow, but as the game went on we kept getting better and better and attacking more - that pressing is what got us the goal."

Though Akron holds a subpar 2-8 MAC record, Miami head coach Bobby Kramig knew the matchup was going to be tricky.

"It's just a difficult environment," Kramig said. "Akron on

Friday night is a very difficult place to play. That's the first time we've ever beaten Akron on the road on a Friday night. I was very pleased with it. That's a considerable streak that came to an end."

Miami had to follow Friday's 110-minute tussle with a trying trip to Buffalo. The Bulls entered the game with a one-point MAC advantage over the RedHawks and extended their lead to four with the victory, clinching the regular season conference title along the way.

"It was a little disappointing because we didn't get the result we wanted," Zanotti said. "Unfortunately, we went two goals down and to try to come back from that position on Buffalo's turf against the number one team is just very hard to do." Kramig shared Zanotti's frustration.

"Buffalo's a good team and I certainly don't wanna take anything away from them, but it was disappointing to lose that game," Kramig said. "I congratulate them on winning the league - they earned it."

Miami has second place in the MAC secured regardless of the outcome of Thursday's regular season finale against Ball State University. Though it wasn't the original goal, Kramig thinks the 'Hawks are still in good position.

"Nobody goes into the season saying they hope they finish second," Kramig said. "At the same time, I told the kids there are 10 other teams in the league that wish they were us right now. We just gotta shake off the loss and move on."

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Though Miami is no longer in the hunt for the regular season MAC title, the looming conference tournament gives the RedHawks plenty to look forward to. Miami owns the No. 2 seed in the upcoming tournament, which starts Sunday and continues through the following weekend.

"For us to have been able to lock in at the number two spot with a game left speaks volumes to the commitment of this team and how hard we've worked," Zanotti said. "It puts us in a good position for the tournament - hopefully we can pull off some wins."