Alex Butler, Senior Staff Writer

Allison Berkey and Brooke Livingston embrace Julie Thompson in celebration after a win last season against Xavier. (MICHAEL GRIGGS | The Miami Student)

After being caged for the offseason following a 1-0 loss in last season’s Mid American Conference (MAC) Championship, the Miami University soccer team was ready to fly in the 2010 season opener.

The Red and White hosted Alabama A&M Aug. 21, and spread its wings on the soccer pitch for a 15-0 win over the bamboozled Bulldogs. The victory set a school record for goals in a game, besting an 8-0 victory in last season’s finale over Ball State University.

“I’m not sure that that team was an accurate reflection of anything,” Head Coach Bobby Kramig said. “While I’m very happy to have the win and happy that we got some goals and showed some offense, I really do not view that team as any indicator of how good we may or may not be.”

One of Kramig’s players played good enough to take home some hardware, as junior midfielder Sarah Dessfelt was named Co-MAC Offensive Player of the Week for an effort including a trio of scores and one helper.

“I am really, really honored,” Dessfelt said. “To be honest, I don’t think it’s going to happen again, but I hope so. It was my first time scoring ever, so I’m really excited.”

The excitement also came from newly nested RedHawks.

Freshmen Morgan Stallard and Sam Whitmore also netted hat tricks, while Kayla Zakrzewski had a goal and four assists.

“It was very fun,” Dessfelt said. “Most of the freshmen got to play and they all did really well. We worked really well as a team and everyone worked for each other. We are looking very good this year and I hope we get a MAC championship.”

Dessfelt and her teammates played to a 1-1 draw in an exhibition match against the New London Galaxy Soccer Club Aug. 22 and will resume regular season play against the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Friday, Aug. 27.

“In my mind we took more away from the 1-1 draw than the 15-0,” Kramig said. “The only way to learn more about your team is when they are being tested and challenged. They came right at us and we are a considerably better team than Saturday. It gave us a more critical look at our own group.”

Kramig corralled his girls after the game to remind them about the thread they bear.

“Like I told the kids, when you put that jersey on that says Miami on the front of it, it means something,” Kramig said. “You better be ready to go to work when you put that shirt on. I didn’t think we really were.”

The RedHawks will stash the home whites and meet the Mocs at 9 p.m. as part of the Lady Govs Invitational in Clarksville, Tenn.