RADFORD, Va. – Rachel Marble put the Miami University soccer team into the win column with her late goal in the RedHawks’ 1-0 exhibition win at Radford on Wednesday night.
The sophomore’s tally came with 4:45 remaining in regulation and capped off a statistically dominant evening for MU.
“I felt this was a pretty convincing performance by us tonight,” Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. “Radford is a fine team that has a lot of great tradition, but I thought our kids did very well tonight. Our standard of play stayed up at a high level throughout the 90 minutes and our depth really showed this evening. We’ve had great competition in practice all preseason and I think that our kids have responded to that very well. We’re unselfish and the players are more vested in each other’s success than their own personal success.”
The Red and White had nearly exclusive possession during the first 30-minute period. Miami ended up outshooting Radford by a 5-0 count, placing two of those attempts on goal. MU was aggressive with its runs during that dominant period, but was just a tad early and got flagged offside on four occasions. Despite the territorial edge, the RedHawks and Highlanders played a scoreless first 30 minutes.
As the teams dipped into their respective benches in the second period, the possession evened out a little bit. The Red and White still enjoyed a 6-3 advantage in shot attempts and a 2-0 edge in corner kicks. RU finally attempted its first shot in the 42nd minute and forced starting goalkeeper Danielle Wiseman into a save in the 46th minute. Just like in the first 30 minutes, however, neither team found the back of the net as the contest remained in a 0-0 deadlock after 60 minutes of play.
Miami finished out with a surge in the final 30 minutes, outshooting Radford 8-2 in the last regulation frame. The Red and White’s determination finally paid off in the waning moments as Marble finished a well-placed crossing feed from Chloe Knue in the 86th minute to put them up 1-0. From there, the RedHawks shut down the Highlanders, yielding just a single errant shot attempt in the last four minutes and change. Maggie Scott began that play by feeding Knue behind the Highlander defense and starting the scoring strike.
“Maggie played a great ball and Chloe made a terrific run right up the gut to get behind the back line,” Kramig said. “She then played a great cross to Rachel about knee high and she wedged it in off the far post. It was a goal that defined the evening. It came from a couple players working really hard. Chloe worked hard getting behind the defense and Rachel worked hard making a good run. It was a great combination of speed, skill and heads up play.”
A total of 27 RedHawks saw time on the pitch in the exhibition opener, with little drop in play between them. Miami ended up outshooting Radford 19-5, including a 10-2 edge in shots on goal. The RedHawks also had a number of set pieces, ending up with a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
“I give huge credit to the defense,” Kramig said. “It’s tough to lose when you don’t give up a goal. We split a couple goalkeepers and neither was scored on. We communicated well defensively and never got caught out of shape and didn’t give up much in the way of chances. We looked like we’ve been doing this for awhile.”
Wiseman and Alexis Carpenter split time in goal for the RedHawks, with each making a save to combine for the shutout.
The RedHawks play their second and final exhibition contest on Sunday when they host Northern Kentucky at 5:30 p.m.