The Miami women’s soccer team asserted their dominance over the Ohio Bobcats this season as they captured a 2-1 win at Bobby Kramig Field on Wednesday, securing the season sweep.
The victory came at a critical moment in the season for the Redhawks, as before the game they sat at 3-3.
Miami needed to make a statement against a struggling Bobcats team, especially after suffering a demoralizing 4-0 loss to Buffalo just five days prior. Led by forward Kristina DeMarco, midfielder Desiree Grubbs and senior night honoree Soph Spinell, they did just that.
The game started perfectly for Miami, as a chip through ball from Spinell found the soft spot in between the goalkeeper and the defenders, allowing DeMarco to loft the keeper to give the Redhawks a 1-0 lead within two minutes.
Despite the early advantage, Miami was stuck on the defensive side of the ball for much of the first half, with Ohio piling forward in numbers looking for an equalizer.
Despite an inspired defensive showing by defender Camber Hayes, the Bobcats pulled level after a corner kick was deflected into the net after a shot by Carsyn Prigge.
The Redhawks went into the halftime whistle looking second-best, only registering two shots compared to the eleven that Ohio managed.
Head coach Courtnay Sirmans’ halftime speech must have worked, as Miami looked like a completely different team at the start of the second half.
Forward Jamie Tottleben looked like a constant threat spearheading the attack, and the service that defender Kennedy Gray provided from the left-back position provided several scoring opportunities for the Redhawks throughout the half.
This early pressure from Miami eventually paid off after just nine minutes, as a shot towards goal from Spinell was parried off of the woodwork by Sam Wexell, the ‘keeper for OU, and directly into the path of Grubbs from inside the 6 yard box.
Grubbs made no mistake from close range, giving the Redhawks a 2-1 lead and registering Spinell’s second assist on her senior day.
The Redhawks would not relinquish the advantage that Grubbs gave them, but the game did not finish without controversy. Just two minutes after Miami retook the lead the Bobcats had two penalty shouts declined by the referee, one a handball that did not seem intentional, the second being a challenge from behind on forward Abby Townsend that could have been called either way.
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Townsend was a nuisance throughout the rest of the match, creating numerous scoring chances that Miami goalkeeper Izzie Vaccari did well to prevent.
The last significant action of the match came with ten minutes to play, as a rash challenge outside the Miami penalty area resulted in a dangerous free kick that could have caused Vaccari problems.
However, a strong double block from the Miami defense prevented any damage and ensured that Spinell would end her last game at Bobby Kramig Field a winner.
Miami moves to 4-3 on the conference-only season after the victory, which should give the team some sense of momentum going into their season finale against Akron at home on April 11th.