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Soccer begins MAC play

By Harrison Schwarz, For The Miami Student

The Miami University women's soccer team (4-3) kicks off its conference schedule this weekend against Bowling Green State University (4-3-1) and Eastern Michigan University (3-4-1).

Head coach Bobby Kramig believes his team is ready for the Mid-American Conference, but isn't caught up in making sure his team gets off to a perfect start.

"The MAC is a marathon, it really is," Kramig said. "Each game, whether it's against the best team in the league or the worst team in the league, each game still counts for three points. It's a really hard league to play in. The teams that do well are the teams that perform consistently well throughout the season."

MU enters conference play on a hot streak after back-to-back wins against Rice University on Sept. 13 and Florida Gulf Coast University last Friday.

The 2-0 win against Rice, who was Conference USA champion last year, gave the 'Hawks a big momentum swing, as it ended a three-game losing streak. Kramig said FGCU the toughest out-of-conference opponent MU has faced this year.

Miami has shown it can be competitive with the best out-of-conference teams, but now it's time to face the MAC. The RedHawks return nine of the eleven starters who went 14-3-2 in the MAC last season.

Sophomore midfielder Katie Alexander is eager to start the conference schedule.

"We're excited," Alexander said. "We are ready. We've practiced, played preseason games and out-of conference games. We're just ready to go into MAC and win some games."

Bowling Green's soccer program has won five games in its three previous seasons combined, but it has already matched last year's win total of four. The Falcons are lost 2-0 to Butler University on Sept. 17 and tied Valparaiso University 1-1 on Sept. 13. MU lost to Valparaiso 2-0 on Aug. 28.

The RedHawks are 12-7-2 all-time against Bowling Green, and they are 4-0-2 since 2009.

Eastern Michigan began the season 0-3, but bounced back with a 3-1-1 record after that. The Eagles enter this weekend after a 2-1 win against University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a 1-0 loss to University of Detroit Mercy.

MU is 10-10-2 all-time against Eastern Michigan and 4-2-1 in the last seven matches since 2009.

The 'Hawks face Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Friday in Bowling Green, Ohio. Weekend play continues against Wright State at 1 p.m. Sunday in Ypsilanti, Michigan.