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Miami prepares for final home stand

By Harrison Schwarz, For The Miami Student

The Miami University women's soccer team (9-5-1, 5-2-1 Mid-American Conference) looks to rebound after failing to win both of its games last weekend. The RedHawks play the University of New York at Buffalo (9-5-2, 5-2-1 MAC) Friday and the University of Akron (6-9-1, 3-5 MAC) Sunday.

After playing six of their first eight MAC games on the road, MU finally gets to enjoy a home stand longer than a weekend. After this weekend's two games, the 'Hawks face Ball State University on Oct. 29 in the final game of the season.

"We've been eyeing this home stand since the beginning of the season," head coach Bobby Kramig said. "Certainly there was a huge challenge by starting conference play with having to play four straight games on the road. But here's the payback: coming up here in the next two weeks with three straight at home to finish it off. We're looking forward to it."

The next three games are critical for Miami's chances of achieving a high seed in the MAC tournament, which begins Nov. 1.

The 'Hawks must improve on last weekend's performances, when they lost 2-0 to Western Michigan University and tied with a two-win Northern Illinois University team.

"Our focus right now is to be playing a little bit better than we did this past weekend," Kramig said. "We didn't play as well as we could have, and we didn't play well enough to get the result that we needed in either game. Our focus is on our own game and to try to get a little bit better so we can get some good results this weekend."

The Buffalo game is a grudge match for Miami. Last year, the Bulls snatched the conference title from MU in the final game of the season.

Junior midfielder Stephanie Dillon, a returning member from last year's squad, looks forward to seeing Buffalo again.

"We're pumped. It's definitely going to be an aggressive game," Dillon said. "I know I'm thinking forward to it and the rest of the team is looking forward to really getting back on track, getting our minds right and finishing business from last year with Buffalo."

MU and Buffalo are tied for first in the MAC East Division, so the game is significant to both teams for MAC tournament seeding purposes.

The RedHawks face Buffalo at 3 p.m. Friday and Akron at 1 p.m. Sunday in Oxford, Ohio.

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