By Harrison Schwarz, Staff Writer

As the soccer season begins, Miami University is poised to compete for the top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Conference East Division.

In a preseason poll, league coaches predicted the Redhawks to win the 2015 MAC Tournament and finish second in the MAC East division. The RedHawks are coming off a 14-3-2 season in which they finished second in the MAC. Nine of the eleven starters from last year are returning.

Miami’s season began Aug. 21 with a 1-0 victory over Vanderbilt. Senior forward Haley Walter scored the lone goal, while junior goalkeeper Vic Maniaci stop all 11 shots kicked her way.

Two days later, Miami had a convincing win over Western Kentucky 4-0. Senior defender Katie Mazurek, junior midfielder Rachel Marble, junior midfielder Stephanie Dillon and sophomore forward Kat Zalar scored one goal apiece.

Head coach Bobby Kramig said he is optimistic about the team’s chances this season, but isn’t ready to make assumptions.

“I’m delighted with the results, but those first two games stand alone,” Kramig said. “We are still in the early stages of development. We are still trying to learn from our performances, improve, and move forward as a team.”

MU plays Valparaiso University at 4 p.m. on Friday in Oxford.

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