OXFORD, Ohio - Coming off one of its best seasons in program history, the Miami University women's soccer team looks to continue its success in 2013 and will take the first steps toward doing that this spring, as the RedHawks revealed a challenging spring exhibition schedule on Thursday.
Miami will play five contests throughout March and April in preparation for the 2013 fall season. The RedHawks will host two games while facing two of the top teams in the Atlantic 10, one Big Ten squad and one SEC team that made last year's NCAA Tournament.
The RedHawks open with a pair of road matches, starting Saturday, March 23 at Butler in Indianapolis at 11 a.m. The Bulldogs placed fourth in the Atlantic-10 in their first year in the league, going 12-5-4 overall a season ago and 5-1-3 in the league before bowing out in the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament. Just five days later on Thursday, March 28, Miami travels to Lexington for a matchup against Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. The Wildcats made the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, like Miami, and finished with a 14-7-1 record, including 8-4-1 in SEC play.
The 'Hawks then return home for a pair of exhibition contests against Indiana and Northern Kentucky. The Hoosiers, out of the Big Ten, invade Oxford on Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. Indiana finished 9-9-1 overall last season but already defeated Tennessee, which Miami beat in the NCAA Tournament, in its first spring game. NKU then visits Miami the following Saturday (April 13) at 3 p.m. at Miami Soccer Field. The Norse went 6-11-0 in their first season playing in Division I.
Miami wraps up its spring slate at Dayton on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The Flyers placed second in the Atlantic-10 in 2012 with a 7-1-1 league mark and a 14-4-2 overall record, but fell in penalty kicks in the A-10 Tournament semifinals.
During last year's spring contests, the RedHawks dropped decisions to Kentucky and Northern Kentucky, both on the road, while going 1-4-0. During the regular season, the 'Hawks are 2-4-1 all-time against Butler, 0-3-0 against the Wildcats, 0-2-0 vs. Indiana, 1-1-0 against NKU and 0-3-0 against Dayton.
Miami brings back nearly its entire team from a 2012 squad that captured both the Mid-American Conference Regular-Season and Tournament Championships. The RedHawks won a school-record 20 games while posting a 20-3-1 record, including going unbeaten in league play at 10-0-1. The regular-season crown was just the second in school history while the tournament title was the program's fourth, but first since 2002. Miami also made its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and defeated Tennessee in the first round in Knoxville before dropping a second-round contest to No. 15 Duke.
The RedHawks lose captain and All-American Jess Kodiak from the 2012 team but return the rest of the squad, including four All-MAC and All-Great Lakes Region recipients. Junior midfielders Katy Dolesh and Kayla Zakrzewski lead the way, as both were First-Team All-MAC recipients, as was sophomore midfielder Kelsey Dinges, while freshman midfielder Haley Walter, the MAC Freshman of the Year, garnered second-team all-league honors.
Sat., March 23 at Butler, 11 a.m.
Thurs., March 28 at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., April 6 vs. Indiana, 11 a.m.
Sat., April 13 vs. Northern Kentucky, 3 p.m.
Wed., April 17 at Dayton, 7 p.m.