RedHawks score three times in second half for second straight win
AKRON, Ohio – After scoring just two goals during a five-game losing streak, the Miami University women’s soccer team is starting to find its stride as the RedHawks scored three goals in an 11-minute stretch to start the second half en route to a 3-0 win over Akron Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium. Miami (8-7-0, 3-5-0 Mid-American Conference) has now won two straight since snapping its skid, totaling five goals in those two matches, while the Zips (6-6-2, 3-3-2 MAC) entered the game on top of the MAC East Division.
Despite a scoreless opening half, Miami had its chances, putting a pair of shots on goal, but failed to convert on a breakaway and also hit the post. Both sides fired three shots but the ‘Hawks earned three corner kicks to UA’s one.
Miami quickly seized control of the second half however, as sophomore Kayla Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) found the back of the net just 30 ticks into the final period for her seventh goal of the year, which ties for the team lead. Freshman Emily Hyde (Barrington, Ill.) took the initial shot that was saved by Akron keeper Jeny Wolbert but Zakrzewski was there to put home the rebound from a tough angle to put the ‘Hawks on the board.
“We played a solid first half but left a couple of very good chances on the field,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “The early goal in the second half was key and you could just see our players relax and the confidence build from there. A lot of frustration came out in the second half”
Just over seven minutes later, in the 53rd minute, the RedHawks struck again as Hyde scored herself this time for her second career goal. Freshman Kelsey Dinges (Smithton, Ill.) sent in a corner kick that fell through Wolbert’s hands and bounced around to Hyde, who was waiting to bury the ball and put Miami up 2-0.
Sophomore Katy Dolesh (South Euclid, Ohio) then rounded out the flurry of goals in the 57th minute with her sixth tally of the year to put Miami up 3-0. Dinges dished to Dolesh in the middle of the field where she turned and blasted a shot just inside the left post for the score.
“We played very well today. We were skillful, composed and most importantly, we played effective soccer,” Kramig said. “We’ve been playing well and now the goals are starting to finally come for us. With our three remaining conference games in front of us, I feel very good about our chances for a strong finish.”
The RedHawks finished the match with a 10-7 edge in shots, including 7-4 over the final 45 minutes. Miami put seven of its 10 shots on goal for the match while the Zips managed just two, both coming in the first half. The ‘Hawks also earned all seven corner kicks awarded in the second stanza to finish with a 10-1 edge in that category.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) stopped both shots she faced to record her third career shutout and first in MAC play while Miami’s defense prevented UA from letting a shot reach the target in the second half. Wolbert ended with four saves in the loss.
“Kudos again to our back four and Allison for another first-rate performance,” Kramig said. “Everything goes better when you’re together and organized in the back. Akron is a very dangerous attacking team but our players proved they were up to the challenge and the shutout was well deserved.”
With its final road game of the regular season behind them, the RedHawks look to keep their momentum rolling as Miami makes a push toward the MAC Tournament with three home games to close the regular season, starting Friday, Oct. 21 against Northern Illinois at 3 p.m.