The ball arched into the Western Michigan box from Miami University’s corner kick.
Senior Kristina DeMarco was the first to latch on to it — firing a shot which was blocked by a defender, then firing again. This time it was parried by the goalkeeper.
The rebound slid on the rain-soaked pitch into the mosh pit of grey and white. Miami’s attackers clashed with Western Michigan’s defenders in a scramble to win the ball.
When the ball suddenly popped out toward senior midfielder Jordan King, she only had one thought on her mind.
“Just don’t hit it over the net,” King said.
The Miami women’s soccer team defeated the Western Michigan Broncos 2-1 on Sunday. The victory helped the team celebrate its senior night and final home game of the regular season.
The team honored its eight seniors before the game. The players were given a special walkout with family and friends.
“We’ve put a lot of work in for this program, and to be recognized for that and see this program grow for these past four years has been really cool,” DeMarco said.
The seniors would play a big part in the team’s win
The Miami attack was lively, taking 22 shots and hitting 9 of them on target compared to the Broncos’ 14 and 5, respectively.
The RedHawks struck first after 27 minutes when senior Jordan King slotted home a rebound from a few yards out. The goal was assisted by DeMarco, who fought to win the corner kick and create the initial shot on goal.
This marked King’s first career goal for Miami after four years on the team. The fact that it came on senior night, and that her family was in attendance only made the moment sweeter.
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“It felt great. I was happy I was able to finally deliver for the team,” King said.
Miami led at halftime, but faced renewed pressure from Western Michigan in the second half.
Just five minutes into the half, Western Michigan rifled a corner toward the goal that looked destined for the back of the net. However, sophomore defender Kyleigh Von Klahr expertly cleared the attempt off the goal line.
Western Michigan eventually capitalized after 58 minutes. Taking advantage of a Miami player being on the ground injured, Bronco forward Morgan Otteson rifled a rebound into the top corner from short range to make it 1-1.
It didn’t faze the Redhawks.
Only three minutes later, Miami junior defender Kennedy Gray skillfully brushed past multiple Western Michigan defenders before lashing a strike at the goal. The goalie parried it, but the rebound spiraled uncontrollably toward the back post, where DeMarco crashed in to score her fifth goal of the year and restore the Miami lead.
Despite late pressure, Miami was able to hold the lead thanks to key stops by junior goalkeeper Emily Boutin. Boutin was dominant, making four saves and claiming many crosses throughout the match.
Miami’s record improves to 8-7-3 with the win. Next, the RedHawks travel to Ball State University on Thursday, Oct. 28, for the final regular season game.