Kodiak tallies career-high six points on two goals, two assists
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Junior Jess Kodiak scored two goals and added assists on the RedHawks’ other two goals while the Miami University women’s soccer team grabbed a 3-0 first half lead en route to a 4-3 victory over Evansville Friday night at Arad McCutchan Stadium. Miami (4-2-0) scored four goals for the third time this year while defeating the Purple Aces (1-6-3) by a goal for the second straight season.
After struggling with slow starts early in the season, the RedHawks wasted little time jumping in front Friday as senior Giselle Mangal (Mississauga, Ont.) notched her first goal of the year in the 11th minute. Mangal put Miami up 1-0 with a blast from point-blank range in front of the net off a feed from Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.), which was Miami’s first shot on goal of the match.
“Giselle and Kayla (Zakrzewski) both had terrific games tonight. Getting our flank play straightened out and back on track was a big part of what we’ve been working on in practice this week,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “They both played well. All of our flank players had strong games—Emily Hyde and we played Courtney Clarke out there as well. It was much improved over the last couple of weeks.”
In the 35th minute, the ‘Hawks doubled their advantage when Kodiak buried the first of her two goals from the left side with a rocket that landed upper 90. Freshman Lauren Colliver (Hillsboro, Ohio) earned the assist for her first collegiate point. Just over four minutes later, sophomore Sydney Busch (Salina, Calif.) scored her first collegiate goal, beating Evansville’s keeper with a shot from the middle of the penalty box, also off a pass from Kodiak, to give Miami a 3-0 lead.
The opening half would end with the RedHawks in control, leading on the scoreboard by three while holding a 10-4 edge in shots. UE keeper Chaviel Harrison made four saves in the first 45 minutes while redshirt freshman goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) had three stops, including two stellar saves, to keep the Purple Aces off the board.
“We played really well in the first half. That’s as good a half of soccer as we’ve played all year,” Kramig said. “All the things we’ve been working on this week in practice came out. We had great tempo, great rhythm. We were playing intelligent soccer. I was very pleased. As a coach, it’s always great to see the things you work on in practice come to fruition.”
Kodiak struck again with exactly 17 minutes remaining in the contest to make it a 4-0 game with a shot from the top right corner of the box after receiving the ball from sophomore Ariana Kulinczenko (Inverness, Ill.). Kodiak now has the team lead with five goals on the year while the two-goal game was her first career multi-goal game and the six points also marked a career high.
The Purple Aces would mount a comeback late after Miami made some substitutions in the back line. Tasha Prentice ended Norenberg’s shutout bid in the 79th minute and less than four minutes later Kaitlin Robinett made it 4-2 when she scored on a breakaway off a pass from Prentice. With 2:13 left in the match, Evansville drew within one as Stephanie Thompson finished a cross from Kaitlin Robinett but Miami held on for the 4-3 win.
“We took it a little bit for granted there at the end,” Kramig said. “I’m not sure we were where we needed to be mentally to start the second half, but we’ll learn from it.”
The RedHawks finished with a 16-10 edge in shots, including 11-8 in shots on goal. Both sides finished with five corner kicks while the ‘Hawks earned all five of theirs in the first half. Norenberg finished with a career-high five saves while facing the most pressure she’s seen all year. Harrison ended with seven stops for the Purple Aces.
Miami concludes non-conference play Sunday when it hosts Indiana State at 1 p.m. at Miami Soccer Field.