The Miami University soccer team wrapped up its 2012 non-conference schedule Sunday, splitting its final two games against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) and Indiana State University (ISU).
Miami dropped Friday’s game to IPFW 1-0 in double overtime and cruised past Indiana State 4-0 Sunday. They are now 6-2 heading into conference play this weekend.
Miami’s home loss to IPFW snapped its three-game winning streak and was the first time all year the ‘Hawks were shut out. Miami outplayed the Mastodons in nearly every facet of the game but failed to execute on the scoreboard, despite more than tripling IPFW’s shots at 22-7 and holding a 12-1 advantage on corner kick opportunities.
“I thought we were much too soft in the final third and in front of goal,” Head Coach Bobby Kramig said. “It was simply a matter of not executing on shots and not adjusting to their defensive strategy. At the end of the day, 22 shots and 12 corners should be enough to get at least one goal.”
Miami came out of the gates pushing the tempo of the game, with solid ball movement within 20 yards of the goal. Junior forward Katy Dolesh fired off six first half shots with everything but accuracy in her execution. Several attempts missed the net by inches.
“We’ve not finished at the net a couple of times this year,” Dolesh said. “We have faced some really good goalies, but a lot of that is still on us. I think today we were just unlucky.”
The ‘Hawks fought a tedious second half battle of physical play, back and forth possession, several more missed goal opportunities and a few scares from the Mastodon attack.
Miami’s luck ran out in the second overtime period, when IPFW scored in the 108th minute.
“We played almost 110 minutes of shutout soccer,” Kramig said. “You can’t ask for much more than that. It just wasn’t our best output execution-wise.”
After dropping its second home game of the season, Miami rebounded Sunday against Indiana State. The RedHawks looked like the team from the previous three games, playing fast and putting away ISU early.
Freshman forward Haley Walter continued to make her mark, scoring the fourth goal of her collegiate career in the sixth minute. Walter’s goal was the first attempt of the game for Miami. Just 25 minutes into the team’s final non-conference game, Miami found themselves up 3-0, after two goals by senior captain Jess Kodiak and sophomore midfielder Kelsey Dinges.
Kodiak emphasized defensive aggressiveness as key to spring boarding the ‘Hawks’ attack.
Kramig has pounded home the idea of putting together a complete 90-minute effort, being more “cutthroat” and “coldblooded” on opponents. The message seemed to sink in, especially coming off a loss just two days prior.
“Everything that was missing on Friday showed up today,” Kramig said. “Our attitude and our commitment today was better and it showed in the box score and on the scoreboard.”
Miami also tied its 2011 shutout total in its win over the Sycamores.
Miami faces the University of Akron 4 p.m. Friday and the University at Buffalo 1 p.m. Sunday.