By Harrison Schwarz, Staff Writer
The Miami University women’s soccer team improved to 4-3 on the season after beating Florida Gulf Coast University 1-0 in a marquee win on Friday. FGCU fell to 4-5-1 on the season. The win marked the end of MU’s out of conference schedule.
Head coach Bobby Kramig said he loved the effort his team displayed on the field.
“I was very pleased with how we started the game,” Kramig said. “I thought our first 20 minutes were really good and I was pleased with that. And we did a good job at the end closing them out. I’m very proud of them. We deserved the result.”
The game started slowly, as neither team took until the 11th minute when FGCU sophomore forward Tabby Jindal missed a 20-yard shot.
The Eagles turned up the pressure on the ’Hawks for the next five minutes. They kept the ball pinned in front of Miami’s 18-yard box and attempted three corner kicks, but did not score.
MU counter-attacked when junior midfielder Stephanie Dillon fed a pass to senior forward and captain Haley Walter on the right side of the box, but Walter missed wide.
Miami scored its first goal in the 20th minute, when sophomore midfielder Katie Alexander received a pass at the top of the box and launched the ball past the goalie’s top shelf on the left side of the net.
It was Alexander’s first collegiate career goal. Senior defender Lauren Kelly and freshman forward Bianca Medancic received assists on the play.
Alexander said she was shocked her shot landed in the net.
“It was by far one of the better shots I’ve had in my life,” Alexander said. “I really surprised myself. I just kicked it as hard as I could and it landed in the back of the net. That was probably my best goal in my soccer career.”
The RedHawks ended the first half leading 3-2 in shots, but FGCU notched all five corner kicks. The Eagles pressed Miami in the second half and had what seemed to be a golden opportunity in the 56th minute.
FGCU sophomore forward Paulina Speckmaier’s shot deep in the box was blocked, but the rebound bounced directly to senior forward Kaitlin Parker. Her resulting shot rocketed past MU junior goalie Vic Maniaci, but ricocheted off the crossbar and out of play.
The Eagles outshot the ’Hawks 9-2 in the second half and had four corner kicks to MU’s zero, but could not tally another goal.
The RedHawks’ Sunday game against Wright State University was canceled due to a change in the Raiders’ schedule. The MU-WSU matchup was originally scheduled for Sept. 4, but it was postponed by inclement weather.
After wins against Rice University and FGCU, two of the best teams in Miami’s out-of-conference schedule, the ’Hawks have set themselves up nicely for a showdown with Mid-American Conference opponents.
MU faces Bowling Green State University Friday in Bowling Green, Ohio and Eastern Michigan University Sunday in Ypsilanti, Michigan.