Even in the midst of his team’s second longest winning streak in eight years, Head Coach Bobby Kramig said his team still has some scuffs needing buffed.
The Miami University soccer team (9-2, 2-0 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) is off to a great start and carries a six game winning streak into home matchups against Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University Oct. 1 and 3. The RedHawks defeated Kent State 1-0 and the University at Buffalo 4-3 to open MAC play last weekend, but the man with the clipboard is still waiting for his team to dominate.
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but Buffalo was not a very good team,” Kramig said. “The challenge for us is to not lower our standard. We have things that we go in trying to accomplish and we need to stick to those things. We don’t need to try to play down to the level of competition. I was very disappointed with that.”
Something that hasn’t disappointed Kramig is the play of freshman Katy Dolesh. After 11 games, the newcomer leads the Red and White with six scores. Dolesh netted the only score against Kent State University and added two more against the Bulls for her weekend hat trick.
“The upperclassmen and everyone else was so welcoming to us and said that they wanted us to help them,” Dolesh said. “They said that if we could play, we would be able to do it.”
So far “they” have done it with help from a multitude of newly nested redbirds. Five different freshmen have found net for the RedHawks this season for a total of 17 goals, or 46 percent of the teams 37 scores.
Dolesh and her classmates saw MAC action for the first time and will carry that impression into matchups with Great Lake State schools. Even after getting knocked around, the new blood is here with confidence.
“I thought it was pretty intense and a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it a lot,” Dolesh said. “I think we are going to win it (the MAC).”
The Chippewa (5-3-1, 2-0 MAC) competition will force the Red and White to step up the level of play, according to Kramig.
“They are both much better teams than Buffalo,” Kramig said. “Central is defending conference champion. We are going to have to play considerably better. They are much more athletic and better organized. At every single position they have better players.”
Nicole Samuel leads the Chippewa offense with three goals followed by Laura Twidle, who scored both of her goals last weekend against the Ohio University Bobcats in her team’s 3-1 victory.
“I think this is a team of good, strong character, but it didn’t show the entire game Friday or Sunday,” Kramig said. “We need to put our foot on the accelerator and not just flip on the cruise control.”
The Red and White shifts into drive and kicks off at 4 p.m. Oct. 1 in Oxford.