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'Hawks held scoreless in back-to-back games for first time this year

D01116 Soccer vs Valparaiso
D01116 Soccer vs Valparaiso

By Harrison Schwarz, staff writer

Despite totaling a combined 27 shots, the Miami University soccer team failed to score in its two weekend games, marking the first time the RedHawks have been shut out in back-to-back games this season.

Miami's offense hasn't performed to its potential for much of the season, but it didn't hurt the team in Mid-American Conference play until this weekend.

MU fell 2-0 to WMU (8-3-3, 6-1-1 MAC) Friday and played to a 0-0 draw against NIU (2-12-1, 1-6-1 MAC) Saturday.

The RedHawks (9-5-1, 5-2-1 MAC) had won five of six MAC games before they entered the weekend.

"I think it was disappointing," head coach Bobby Kramig said. "I think we are capable of doing better and playing better than we did up here. We obviously need to be a little bit sharper in front of the goal. We had more than enough opportunities. We had to be better. We just weren't sharp enough to beat Western on the road. You better be on your A-game to beat a good team on the road."

The 'Hawks rank second-to-last in the MAC in shots per game with 10.54, but they have been efficient with their shots. MU is sixth in goals per game at 1.31.

However, defense and goalkeeping have kept the RedHawks in the postseason race. Miami ranks first overall in the MAC with a .61 goals against average.

"Hats off to our back four and [junior goalie] Vic Maniaci," Kramig said. "They played well to get the shutout."

Senior midfielder Jess Bronke acknowledged the team's dip in play, but she expects things to improve.

"I think our heads are down a little bit," Bronke said. "I think we're going to have keep working at practice and get our heads up. We have to keep what's in the past in the past and keep moving forward and working hard."

MU returns home next weekend for two conference games against University of New York at Buffalo and University of Akron.

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"We just got to keep working," Kramig said. "Keep working on the things that we need to do. The world isn't ending. We just need to show some improvement, get back to practice and close out these home games with some good results."