The Miami RedHawks women’s soccer team has not had a winning season since 2015.
On March 3, Miami was picked to finish last out of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) preseason poll.
Head coach Courtney Sirmans has other plans.
Sirmans was hired in 2018, and the season before her arrival, the RedHawks won only two games. Going into her third season, she has lots of hopes for the team.
“We have the potential to finish second or third in the conference,” Sirmans said. “We want to be at the top of our division.”
This season, the RedHawks are playing only 10 games due to playing in the spring instead of fall. Another change that’s been implemented is the mask requirement during practice and on the sidelines at games.
Sirmans said the team has been very understanding when it comes to wearing masks because “they know the feeling of when we had our season ripped away from us. They understand it's a sacrifice and they are willing to make it.”
Because this year has been so unpredictable, the team created a motto to keep them motivated.
The expression emphasizes the importance of being unwavering no matter where the girls are, including on the pitch, during practice and even in the classroom.
“We want people to know that when Miami comes to town, they’re going to have to be ready for a battle,” Sirmans said.
Looking ahead to this season, Sirmans noted a few players she thinks will make a huge impact for the team.
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Midfielder and captain Soph Spinell, who was placed on the Academic All-MAC Team last year, is the only senior on the team.
“She’s a fantastic leader,” Sirmans said. “She has helped build this program the last three years and I expect her to have a great season. Even if she doesn't get goals, she still makes an impact on the team because of her leadership.”
Sirmans also shouted out sophomore defenders Kennedy Gray and Bronwen Sears. Both players were honored on the MAC All-Freshman Team last year, and Sirmans is interested in seeing their transition from freshmen to sophomores.
Above scoring goals and being consistent in the final third, there’s one thing she puts above all else:
“Most important is to get through the season healthy.”
So far, the RedHawks are 1-1, with a win against Ohio University and a loss against Buffalo.
The team’s next game is at home on Sunday against Kent State. The game will start at 1 p.m.