The Miami University soccer team’s (3-5-0) offense was stifled Sunday as they were shutout by Marshall University (5-2-1) 1-0.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the RedHawks, all of them by a single goal.
Head coach Bobby Kramig said he was disappointed in his team’s effort, which he called “lethargic.”
“I didn’t think that we played particularly well today,” Kramig said. “I think we were very slow starting the game. I don’t think we had a very good, productive first half. I think we were better in the second half, but we did not put a complete game together today and I think losing to Marshall was a fair result.”
Marshall junior forward Myke DeMarco provided the lone goal for the Thundering Herd in the 23rd minute of the first half. Freshman forward Sydney Arnold passed the ball from the right corner to a wide-open DeMarco at the top of the penalty area. DeMarco fired the ball into the top of the net for the score.
The ‘Hawks dominated possession in the second half but were unable to capitalize. They managed only one shot on goal, a laser by junior midfielder Kelsey Dinges that was easily handled by Marshall senior goalkeeper Lizzy Lemons.
Miami’s offense was rolling recently despite the losing streak, scoring eight goals over its last three contests. However, they were unable to mount any kind of attack against Marshall’s stingy defense. The shutout lowered the Thundering Herd’s goals allowed average to 0.62 per game this season. It was the first time MU has been shutout since September 14, 2012.
Kramig said he accepted the blame for the ‘Hawks’ lack of energy.
“I don’t think that we were prepared for this game the way we needed to be,” Kramig said. “I don’t think that we had the right mentality, and that’s my fault. My job is to make sure they are prepared, and clearly we were not.”
One area in which the RedHawks showed improvement was on defense. The ‘Hawks had allowed 11 goals over their previous three matches, but they only surrendered one goal and held Marshall to just five shots total.
Team captain and junior defenseman Courtney Zanotti attributed the improved defense to a new team mindset, especially from the back four.
“I think the difference was our attitude about defending,” Zanotti said. “We went out there with a lot more intensity and passion and it showed.”
Outside of the defensive breakdown that led to the game’s only goal, Kramig said he was pleased with his team’s improved defensive effort.
“Certainly it was better,” Kramig said. “We changed up our lineup … and I thought those kids played pretty well. I thought that Rachel Marble did a nice job at right-back, I thought that [redshirt freshman midfielder/defenseman] Shannon Stearns and Dana Miller both played well. Hopefully we’re on the right track defensively now.”
The loss to Marshall was the RedHawks’ last non-conference game. Miami begins Mid-American Conference play when they travel to the University of Akron (3-3-2) Friday.