OXFORD, Ohio - Hitting the road for the first time in Mid-American Conference play this season, the Miami University women's soccer team will look to extend its three-game winning streak when the RedHawks clash with rival Ohio on Friday before moving on to Kent State Sunday. Kickoff Friday is set for 4 p.m. at Chessa Field while Sunday's match is slated for 1 p.m. at Zoeller Field.
Miami (8-2-0, 2-0-0 MAC) opened league play at home last weekend and won both matches to earn its second three-game win streak this year and vault itself to the top of the East Division standings as the only unbeaten team in the MAC East. The RedHawks downed Akron last Friday, 4-1, tallying all four goals in an 18-minute stretch in the second half before allowing the Zips to get on the board. Junior Kayla Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) had a hand in each of the first three goals, scoring two while assisting on the second one, which was the game-winner. Freshman Katee Wensinger (Stow, Ohio) had a career-high three points in the match, assisting on Zakrzewski's first goal while Zakrzewski returned the favor as Wensinger tallied the game-winner. On Sunday, Miami blanked Buffalo, 2-0, with goals by freshman Haley Walter (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Kelsey Dinges (Smithton, Ill.). Zakrzewski assisted on Dinges' goal, giving her a six-point weekend, which earned her MAC Offensive Player of the Week.
The RedHawks boast one of the top offenses in the country entering the weekend, averaging 2.90 goals per game, which leads the MAC by almost a goal a game and ranks 10th nationally. Miami has scored at least four goals in half of its matches this season. Senior captain Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.) leads the way with team bests of six goals and 16 points, both of which rank second in the MAC. Walter is second on the squad and third in the MAC with 14 points while Zakrzewski is third on the team and fourth in the MAC with 13 points. Zakrzewski leads the MAC with five assists however, while Walter and Kodiak are tied for second with four each. Walter and Dinges, who has 11 points, are tied for third in the MAC with five goals apiece.
Defensively, Miami has been nearly as dominant, posting a 0.68 goals-against average, which is also first in the MAC and is 39th nationally. The 'Hawks, who have given up just seven goals in 10 games, have pitched five shutouts, which ties for the most in the league, after blanking teams just four times all of last year. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.), who has started all 10 games, has three clean sheets herself while combining for the other two. She carries a 0.72 GAA, which is third in the MAC, and a .774 save percentage.
Ohio (6-4-0, 1-1-0 MAC) is one of the hottest teams in the country, entering the weekend winners of six of its last seven games. The Bobcats started 0-3 before rattling off six straight wins, only to see their win streak snapped at Central Michigan, 1-0, last Sunday. Ohio opened MAC play with a 1-0 victory at Bowling Green last Friday and has not lost at home this year, going 4-0-0 with three shutouts. The Bobcats are fifth in the MAC defensively, allowing just a goal a game, with Mattie Liston seeing the majority of time in net. She has a 1.05 GAA, an .833 save percentage and five shutouts, which leads the MAC. Offensively, Ohio averages just a goal per game, led by Cat Rogers, who has a team-high five goals and 12 points.
The RedHawks are 10-8-0 all-time against the Bobcats, winning each of the last three meetings, all in overtime. The last two matches in Athens both went to double overtime with Miami prevailing victorious. Last year at Ohio, Kodiak scored with 10 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, when current junior Katy Dolesh (Chardon, Ohio) tallied the game-winner. In all, eight of the 18 meetings between Miami and Ohio have required overtime while the 'Hawks are 4-5-0 all-time in Athens.
Kent State (5-2-2, 0-1-1 MAC), which welcomes Ball State Friday before facing Miami, is winless in its last three matches after starting the year 5-0-1. The Golden Flashes began MAC play last weekend, falling at Central Michigan, 2-1, on Friday before playing to a scoreless draw at Bowling Green Sunday. KSU is right behind Miami offensively, ranking second in the conference with a 2.00 goals per game average. Jaclyn Dutton leads the MAC with both 18 points and eight goals. Stephanie Haugh has four goals and assists each as she is one of three Flashes to tie for the team lead in assists. KSU is third in the MAC with a 0.83 GAA led by goalkeeper Stephanie Senn, who has started eight of the team's nine games. She has a 0.67 GAA, which is tops in the league, and is second with an .846 save percentage while pitching two shutouts and combining for a third.
Miami is 8-6-1 all-time against the Golden Flashes, winning two straight and three of the last four. The RedHawks won at KSU last year, 2-1, on goals from Dolesh and Zakrzewski. Miami is 3-4-1 all-time at Kent State.
Live stats for this weekend's matches will be available on MURedHawks.com.
Following the weekend road trip, Miami returns home for a pair of MAC match-ups as the RedHawks host Western Michigan Friday, Oct. 5 and Eastern Michigan Sunday, Oct. 7. The weekend will be soccer's Alumni Weekend while Sunday's match with EMU will be Senior Day.