Dolesh, Zakrzewski tally goals in 2-1 win
KENT, Ohio – Despite rainy and muddy conditions and history against them, the Miami University women’s soccer team used a hard-fought team effort to down Kent State, 2-1, Friday afternoon at Zoeller Field in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams. With the win, the RedHawks (6-2-0, 1-0-0 MAC) extend their win streak to four games while snapping KSU’s (6-4-0, 0-1-0 MAC) three-game win streak.
Miami improves to 7-6-2 all-time in MAC openers while winning its first MAC opener on the road since 2005. The ‘Hawks also won at Kent State for the first time since 2001 while beating KSU for the second straight year, also winning last year’s MAC-opening match-up in Oxford.
“The kids played very well. It’s always difficult playing up here and even more difficult today because it rained all day and the field was swampy creating difficult conditions,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “They did a great job of staying on task, keeping their composure and playing composed. They worked hard and earned this one. I’m very proud of them.”
After a scoreless first period, Miami wasted no time breaking the deadlock out of halftime as sophomore Katy Dolesh (South Euclid, Ohio) found the back of the net just 52 ticks into the second stanza. She jumped on a loose ball in front of the net and put it away for her fourth goal of the year. Classmate Sydney Busch (Salinas, Calif.) and senior Giselle Mangal (Mississauga, Ont.) picked up assists on the play – the first of the year for each.
The RedHawks doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the 76th minute when sophomore Kayla Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) notched her team-leading sixth goal of the year. After receiving a pass from freshman Hailey Pleshakov (Brighton, Mich.), who now has three helpers in 2011, Zakrzewski broke down the left side and was able to beat KSU keeper Kelly Sherwood with a strong blast from 15 yards out.
The Golden Flashes would not go quietly however, turning up the pressure over the last 15 minutes and forcing Miami to play strong defense. Several of KSU’s 14 second-half shots came in the closing minutes but the ‘Hawks held tough. Vanessa Salerna would cut Miami’s lead in half in the 87th minute with a header off a free kick from Jenni Stapleton to make it 2-1 but the RedHawks were able to close out the victory.
Miami had chances to strike in the first half, firing seven shots, but all three that were put on target were saved by Sherwood, who finished the game with four stops. RedHawk redshirt freshman goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) also made four saves, including three in the second stanza, while making a stellar stop in each half.
“Norenberg made two big saves -- one in the first half and one in the second. Her save in the first half was huge as it was near the end of first half. The shot was going lower left corner and she came out of nowhere to tip it around the post,” Kramig said. “She had another big stop in the second half on a shot from distance at the top of box that she went to her left and held on to. She had a very nice game.”
For the match, KSU outshot Miami, 20-12, despite a 6-5 edge in shots on goal for the ‘Hawks. The Golden Flashes also finished with a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks, including 4-1 over the final 45 minutes, despite the defeat.
The RedHawks look to extend their win streak Sunday when they head further north to take on Buffalo at noon.