OXFORD, Ohio – Kelsey Dinges’ goal in the 12th minute highlighted a strong team performance for the Miami University soccer team as it closed exhibition play with a 1-1 tie against Northern Kentucky on Sunday.
The Red and White close out the exhibition slate 1-0-1 after enjoying a decisive territorial advantage in possession at Miami Soccer Field. MU outshot NKU by a 21-8 margin and took 10 corner kicks while not allowing the Norse an opportunity to set up from the corner.
“As a coach you want to see the things you work on in practice show up in game and I think we are seeing that,” Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. “I’m pleased with where we are. I think we’ll be ready for the start of the season next weekend. It’s also a bonus that nobody suffered any injuries during the exhibition schedule, we’re in good shape physically and I think we’ll be ready for the season to start on Friday.”
Miami came out of the gate dominating possession and Dinges found the back of the net with 11:05 gone by. Rachel Marble threaded a through ball past the Norse defense and it checked up just inside the 18-yard box. NKU goalkeeper Tanner Ruberg came out to try and cover the ball up, but Dinges won the ensuing footrace, worked the ball around her and tapped the ball into the vacated net to make it a 1-0 contest.
The RedHawks’ starting lineup played the entire first half to inch closer to game shape when the season opens in five days. That unit put in solid work, outshooting NKU 9-4 and owning a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks while taking a 1-0 lead into halftime.
MU went entirely to its bench to field its second-half lineup and the results were promising early on. A mostly freshman group peppered NKU’s defense to the tune of an 8-1 shot advantage over the first 18 minutes of play. Amy Malone had a strong opportunity when the ball worked to her atop the 18-yard box off a corner kick, but Ruberg dove to the post to stop her heavy low shot in the 64th minute.
Perhaps the best individual effort came out of Chloe Knue in the 71st minute. The freshman hustled to keep the ball in play at the sideline, won a footrace with an oncoming defender to push the ball forward at midfield, then blew past the Norse defense for a breakaway down the left side. She launched a powerful left-footed shot from the left wing that narrowly missed the far post, keeping it a one-goal contest.
A break went the Norse way in the 76th minute. The ball was worked into traffic in the attacking area and NKU’s Sam Davis dug the ball out with the net open. Davis’ shot found the net and evened the score at 1-1, which is where it ended after 90 minutes of play.
Danielle Wiseman started for the second-straight match and turned aside the only shot she faced in a scoreless first half. Alexis Carpenter relieved her for the second half and also made a save in the final 45 minutes of play. Dinges, Knue and Jenna Weiner all finished with three shot attempts, tying for the team lead.
The RedHawks begin their regular season on Friday when they take on Purdue at the Boilermaker Challenge Cup. Opening kickoff is at 7 p.m.