BUFFALO, N.Y. – Miami’s women’s soccer team put an end to a five-game losing streak and earned its first Mid-American Conference win of the season with a 1-0 win over Buffalo Sunday afternoon at UB Stadium. The RedHawks (4-6-0, 1-1-0 MAC) and Bulls (3-4-2, 0-2-0) were locked in a scoreless battle in the first half before senior forward Katy Dolesh scored the gamewinner in the 48th minute and fellow senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg kept the Bulls off the scoreboard for her third shutout of the season.
“It feels really, really good to get the monkey off our backs,” Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. “We had to work really hard today. Buffalo is a good team and this is a tough place to play. We were able to play hard for a full 90 minutes.”
In the evenly-played first half, the RedHawks took five shots, placing three of them on goal while limiting the Bulls to two shots on goal. Scoring chances in the first half were close to even as well with Miami gaining two corner kicks to Buffalo’s one.
“Buffalo played hard and made it very tough on us,” Kramig said. “I’m proud of the way we fought. As the defending champions, we’ve got a bullseye on our backs and every team in the MAC is going to give us their best. We learned in this game that you can’t just show up. We have to go into every game prepared to battle.”
In the second half, Miami immediately went on the attack, keeping possession in the offensive end and driving toward the goal. Junior forward Hailey Pleshakov led the attack before Dolesh sent in a shot that was blocked out of bounds. On the ensuing corner kick, Pleshakov lobbed a pass into the penalty area where Dolesh used a header to beat Buffalo goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon for the 1-0 Miami lead just 2:05 into the second half.
“Our goal came off a very good combination in the attacking third,” Kramig said. “Pleshakov got it deep into the attacking zone and Dolesh got a dangerous shot off to earn the corner. On the corner kick, Pleshakov put the ball right where it needed to be. She was the MVP of this game and had an inspiring performance. Dolesh fought hard and gave a great effort to get up and get her head on it.”
Over the remainder of the second half, Buffalo was able to get four shots on goal, but the Miami defense ensured that each shot was tightly contested and Norenberg made the stop each time.
Norenberg made six saves in her shutout effort to improve to 3-6-0 while Wheldon stopped six of the seven shots she faced to fall to 3-4-2 on the season. The RedHawks held a strong advantage on corner kicks, earning six corners to Buffalo’s two.
Next up for Miami is a return to the home turf to take on Ohio on Friday Oct. 4 in a 4 p.m. kickoff followed by a 1 p.m. match against Kent State two days later on Oct. 6.