Junior forward/midfielder Haley Walter attempts to dribble past a slide tackle from Toledo defender Kirsten Catloth. Walter has two goals and two assists on the season.
Photo by Connor Moriarty
Another weekend has come and gone and, not surprisingly, the Miami University soccer team has added two more wins to its resume. A pair of 2-0 victories over the University of Toledo and Central Michigan University vaulted the RedHawks to 9-2 with a 3-1 mark in the Mid-American Conference.
Sunday's win over CMU was representative of the scrappy way Miami has been racking up wins, and head coach Bobby Kramig doesn't mind.
"Some games are tough and you just gotta fight your way through them," Kramig said. "We did what needed to be done. Our kids stayed focused and concentrated throughout the whole game."
Freshman forward Kat Zalar struck first against the Chippewas, picking up her third goal of the year with a strong left-footed shot from distance in the 28th minute. Senior midfielder Kelsey Dinges sealed the deal as time was winding down by turning and rifling a ball out of the air. Dinges now has seven goals to her credit this season.
"We took a couple good goals today - Kelsey's goal was first class and Kat's was a nice strike too," Kramig said.
The 'Hawks opened up the weekend ousting Toledo, thanks to header goals from Dinges and sophomore defender Shannon Stearns, who claimed her first career collegiate goal. In a display of supreme partnership, Stearns assisted on Dinges' goal and Dinges assisted on Stearns' goal.
After its first loss of the season against Northwestern University, Miami followed with four wins in a row. The RedHawks have now strung together three wins after opening conference play with a loss to Eastern Michigan University on Sept. 26.
"[The EMU loss] was a realization moment that the MAC is hard and we need to step up and play big games, every game," Dinges said. "Whoever shows up that day is gonna win that game."
Kramig agreed with his star senior's outlook.
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"This is a tough league," Kramig said. "Winning the MAC is about showing up every day, working hard, being consistent and being good all the time. We think we're good and can beat anybody in the league."
The RedHawks hit the road next weekend after finishing their extended home stand. Sunday goal scorer Kat Zalar's recipe for success away from home is simple.
"Let's just keep doing what we're doing here," Zalar said. "Our goal is to come out and win as many games as we can."
Kramig is also hoping for wins, but is also looking forward to the road trip experience.
"It's great playing at home and it's great playing in front of our fans and families, but I think we're due for a change," Kramig said. "I'm looking forward to getting out with the team and spending some time together. We wanna see what life's like back on a bus."
The 'Hawks take on Kent State University 4 p.m. Friday and face rival Ohio University 1 p.m. Sunday.