The Miami University soccer team lost both games on their weekend road trip, falling to 0-9-0 on the season. Friday’s 3-1 loss to the University of Toledo, coupled with Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Bowling Green State University dashed hopes of starting Mid-American Conference play with a victory, or two.
The RedHawks have failed to put a tally in the win column thus far, losing four games by only one goal. Heading into the weekend, the RedHawks had only managed to produce one goal on the season and were looking to add to that total.
The Toledo Rockets got off to a fast start, netting a goal in the 6th minute off a header from senior forward Sophie Pohl. Toledo kept the pressure on Miami’s back line following their goal, forcing RedHawk junior goalkeeper Pat Koutoulas into three first-half saves.
Miami came out of the locker room at halftime with an attacking mentality and had three shots on goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Despite the RedHawks barrage, Toledo was able to find their second goal of the match in the 66th minute, via a strike from freshman forward Anita Mancini.
The RedHawks showed resilience, continuing to pressure the Rocket’s defense and finally breaking through in the 75th minute with a 23-yard strike from sophomore midfielder Olivia Winnett. It was Winnett’s and the team’s second goal of the season.
Toledo extended their lead once again with a chipped finish from junior defender Hannah Scafaria, assisted by Pohl. This secured a convincing 3-1 Rockets’ victory against Miami.
“If we play with the intensity in the 55th minute in the first minute, we will win a lot of games,” head coach Hugh Seyfarth said. “However, you have to be desperate to score in the penalty area and play with a good amount of energy. We did that in the second half and for a lot of the first half, but we got off to a slow start, which is disappointing.”
Sunday’s game against Bowling Green did not yield much better results. Again, the RedHawks conceded early — giving up a goal to senior forward Skylar Fleak. Miami responded with a well-developed set piece from a corner kick. Finished off by senior midfielder Katie Alexander, this gave the RedHawks a first half equalizer.
The stalemate did not last long, however, as Fleak went on to net her second goal of the afternoon in the 20th minute. The Falcons snatched another goal right before the half, giving them a 3-1 lead going into the break.
Miami conceded an own goal not 30 seconds into the second half. They were unable to recover from the 4-1 deficit, and the game finished as such.
RedHawk Koutoulas was once again busy for a majority of the game, making seven saves. Her play between the posts for Miami has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary season.
“We made some mistakes that you can’t make in a MAC game,” Seyfarth said. “Our passing has been pretty good this season, but it let us down today. We didn’t hit our passes and then it just led to us defending again. I’m proud of a lot of the freshmen who stepped in to play a lot of minutes.”
Seyfarth said he was happy to see Emily Roberts and Soph Spinnell return from injury and step in to contribute.
The RedHawks return home after a four-game stint on the road, facing defending MAC Tournament champion Kent State. The game kicks off at 4 p.m at Miami Soccer Field, next to Yager Stadium.