They could not have been playing any better, but sometimes your best is not good enough.
“I thought they did very well,” Miami University Head Women’s Soccer Coach Bobby Kramig said. “I’m very pleased and proud of this team. They worked really hard during the course of the year and they came together. A challenge this year was blending in so many new players, and I think we did that successfully. This is a season all of us can look back on and be proud of.”
Nov. 5, Kramig watched his Miami RedHawks fall short to the Central Michigan University Chippewas 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference soccer tournament semifinals. The No. 2 seed lost to the 3 seed after playing a tight first half.
“I’m just really proud of everyone,” senior Brooke Livingston said. “We had a really great season. We really peaked at the very end and were playing our best soccer. We went into the tournament and took it right to Central. We had a lot of opportunities and I think it was a really even game. I’m really proud of everyone.”
The RedHawks’ (13-7-2, 5-4-2 MAC) great season was ended by the Chippewas (15-4-1, 10-1-0 MAC) for the second straight season. They were bested by the Great Lake State foe 1-0 in the MAC championship game last season.
“It says a lot about our character, attitude and talent,” Livingston said. “We have a lot of heart and think we are capable of playing with anyone.”
Livingston played her last game in white and red threads along with fellow seniors Rachelle Boff, Jessica and Rachel Byron, Sara Lund and Julie Thompson.
“It’s been a great four years for everyone,” Livingston said. “We’ve learned a lot as a family. It’s hard to walk away from it after four years, but it’s better off now than when we got here, so I feel like we’ve added to it.”
It took 11 minutes for the Chippewas to gain a 1-0 advantage Friday on a Kaely Schlosser score. Freshman phenom Katy Dolesh subbed in and dashed through the middle of the defense. Sarah Dessfelt booted a beautiful cross to Dolesh off of a Jess Kodiak feed and the freshman connected on a noggin netter for her 8th score of 2010.
Goalkeeper Madison Ryan negated net chances to close out the first half, and the two MAC titans headed to the sidelines even.
“I don’t think a lot of teams had expectations for us,” Livingston said. “Central was probably looking past us, but I think we brought it to them and had them worried at halftime.”
In the 57th minute, the Chippewas netted the decisive score when Schlosser chipped a throw-in pass over Ryan’s head. The Red and White were outshot 17-10 in the contest and couldn’t capitalize in the final ticks as the Chippewas advanced to the championship game.
After two seasons ending in November, the Red and White is quickly becoming a tournament fixture. Livingston and her teammates have helped RedHawk soccer earn a reputation.
“We want to let other teams know that we are a team to be reckoned with,” Livingston said.