OXFORD, Ohio – Coming off a convincing win in its only match last weekend, the Miami University women’s soccer team looks to keep its momentum rolling this weekend when the RedHawks play at IPFW Friday and host Louisville on Sunday. Kickoff Friday is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Hefner Soccer Complex in Fort Wayne, Ind. while Sunday’s match starts at 1 p.m. at Miami Soccer Field and begins a three-game homestand for the ‘Hawks.
Miami (2-1-0) enters the weekend having won each of its last two contests after dropping the season opener. Last Friday, the RedHawks dominated Belmont, 5-0, in Miami’s home opener. Senior midfielder Kayla Zakrzewski led the way with a five-point match, scoring the team’s first two goals while also adding an assist. Junior midfielder Kelsey Dinges had a goal and an assist of her own against the Bruins, as did freshman midfielder Taylor Jackson, which were her first career goal and assist. Fellow freshman forward Jenna Weiner also notched her first collegiate goal in the victory, which was Miami’s largest since a 5-0 win vs. IUPUI Aug. 19 of last year.
Offensively, Zakrzewski leads the RedHawks and the entire Mid-American Conference on the young season with seven points, including a team-best three goals, which ties for the MAC lead. Dinges is second on the squad with five points and two goals, while five different RedHawks have one assist. Dinges’ five points tie for fourth in the league while her two goals tie for third. Miami’s 2.67 goals per game average through three games is tops in the MAC.
Defensively, the RedHawks are tied for second in the MAC, allowing just 1.00 goals per game. Senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg and the rest of the Miami defense have pitched shutouts in back-to-back matches after allowing three goals in the season-opening loss at Illinois State. Norenberg became the winningest keeper in Miami history last Friday by earning her 31st career win in net against Belmont, passing Krista Pace (2006-09). Norenberg is also now just two clean sheets away from tying Pace for the Miami career shutouts record of 16, as she enters the weekend with 14 career whitewashes, including two this season.
IPFW enters Friday’s contest with a 2-2-0 record, having played all its matches at home so far. Last weekend, the Mastodons edged MAC foe Ball State, 1-0 on Friday, Aug. 30, before falling to Butler, 2-0, on Monday, Sept. 2. Against the Cardinals, freshman midfielder Gaby Romo scored the lone goal in the 75th minute as she leads IPFW with two goals and four points on the year. As a team, the Mastodons are averaging 1.00 goals per game, as two other Mastodons have one goal each. Sophomore keeper Sam Pavlika has started all four games in goal and boasts a 0.95 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage with two shutouts.
Miami, which is 0-1-0 all-time against IPFW, will be looking for revenge Friday after falling in double overtime to the Mastodons in Oxford last year. In that contest, the RedHawks outshot IPFW, 22-10, and earned 12 corner kicks, but Pavlika made six saves and Danielle Bishop, who was a senior last year, scored in the 108th minute to defeat Miami.
Louisville, which plays at in-state rival Kentucky Friday before heading up to Oxford, carries a 1-1-1 record into the weekend. The Cardinals defeated Butler in their opener before falling to No. 17/25 Illinois, 5-4 in overtime, two days later. Last weekend, Louisville tied Virginia Tech, 1-1 in double overtime and had its match with Wake Forest cancelled due to bad weather. The Cardinals are averaging 2.33 goals per game, led by senior forward Charlyn Corral, who has team highs of three goals and seven points. Senior forward Christine Exeter and junior forward Casey Whitfield each have two goals on the year. Freshman goalkeeper Paige Brown has played every minute in net for UL this year, compiling a 1.84 GAA and a .647 save percentage with one clean sheet.
The RedHawks are 4-4-0 all-time versus Louisville, last meeting in 2009, which the Cardinals won, 1-0, in Louisville. The Cardinals have won the last four match-ups between the teams, after Miami won the first four. The RedHawks are 2-2-0 all-time when playing Louisville in Oxford, last doing so in 2008, a 3-1 Cardinals win.
Live stats for both matches this weekend will be available on MURedHawks.com. As always, admission to Sunday’s match at Miami Soccer Field is free. Following this weekend’s games, the RedHawks remain at home, hosting Milwaukee on Friday, Sept. 13 and Big Ten foe Purdue on Sunday, Sept. 15, which will be Senior Day.