RedHawks fall at Xavier, 2-1
CINCINNATI – An early two-goal deficit was too much for the Miami University women’s soccer to overcome, as host Xavier handed the RedHawks a 2-1 loss, Miami’s first of the season, Friday night at the XU Soccer Complex. The match was the first road game of the year for the RedHawks (2-1-0) while it served as the home opener for the Musketeers (1-2-0).
Miami conceded its first goal of the season in its third match of the year in the 22nd minute when XU’s Alyssa Tindal fired a laser from the left side of the 18-yard box that landed in the upper corner of the goal. The Musketeers then doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the 37th minute when Ashton Green slotted the ball past redshirt freshman goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) with a low drive. Green received a through ball down the middle from Chelsea Burns to set up the score.
“We’ve been slow out of the gate all three games. We finally came up against a team that was good enough to punish us for it,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “We did a much better job of adjusting to things in the second half but by then it was too little, too late. You put yourself in a two-goal hole; it’s tough to climb out of.”
The RedHawks would get one back just before halftime as junior Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.) buried a penalty kick, Miami’s second converted penalty kick of the young season, with less than five minutes until the break. Freshman Hailey Pleshakov (Brighton, Mich.) earned the kick when she was taken down at the top of the penalty box.
Xavier would take its 2-1 lead into the intermission while holding a 7-5 edge in shots. Norenberg made two saves in the first half, her only two of the game, while XU’s Katie Markesberry also stopped a pair of shots in the opening 45 minutes.
Miami would attempt a comeback in the second half, but the ‘Hawks could not find the equalizer despite outshooting the Musketeers 5-3 in the second half while not allowing a shot on goal by XU. Miami also earned a pair of corner kicks in the second stanza and had three for the game, as did Xavier.
Both sides finished the match with 10 shots while Miami put five on goal to XU’s four. Markesberry finished with four saves, including two stops in the final 45 minutes to preserve her first win of the year. Kodiak put all three of her shots on goal while freshman Kelsey Dinges (Smithton, Ill.) fired four, but only one was on frame.
“We were confused defensively for long periods of time during the game. Our back four was confused, our midfield was confused. A lot of people were standing around not defending and a couple trying to do too much defending,” Kramig said. “We need to be able to figure out situations a little bit quicker. We’ll learn a lot from this and a lot from watching the video. I think it’s relatively simple things to get worked out.”
The RedHawks look to rebound Sunday when they travel to Richmond, Ky. for a 1 p.m. match against Eastern Kentucky. It is Miami’s first ever contest at EKU.