OXFORD, Ohio – For the third straight match, the Miami University women’s soccer team was involved in a tight, high-scoring contest, and for the third straight time, the RedHawks came up just short, falling in double overtime to Purdue, 4-3, Sunday afternoon on Senior Day at Miami Soccer Field. Miami (3-4-0) is now 0-2 in overtime this year, both coming in the last three games, while the Boilermakers (5-2-1) improved to 1-0-1 in extra sessions this year.
The RedHawks led three different times during Sunday’s match, including in the 81st minute when senior midfielder Katy Dolesh put Miami up, 3-2, but Purdue answered right back and then won the match 1:33 into the second overtime. The ‘Hawks also fell in overtime to Louisville last Sunday, 3-2, after leading 2-0 early in the second half and dropped another tough, 4-3 decision to Milwaukee on Friday after Miami took the lead in the 75th minute.
“We want to put together a good 90 minutes and that means starting well and finishing well,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “We’re playing some very good soccer right now. We’re scoring a lot of goals; we’re doing some really good things. We have to be better defensively though. We are hemorrhaging goals right now and that cannot continue.”
Offensively, Miami’s seniors did all they could to get a win on Senior Day as Dolesh scored two goals, both coming off assists from fellow senior midfielder Kayla Zakrzewski. It was just Dolesh’s third multi-goal game of her career, and first since 2011, while she now has three goals in her last two games and a team-best five on the year. Senior midfielder Jordan Pawlik led the way for Purdue, totaling five points on two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist, which helped tie the match late.
The RedHawks wasted no time getting on the board as the senior connection of Zakrzewski and Dolesh struck just 2:01 into the contest. Zakrzewski tried to the pass the ball into the box, but it was deflected and bounced over a Boilermaker defender. Purdue keeper Jordan Ginther tried to grab it but it bounced by her as well, and Dolesh was waiting at the post to slot the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The lead was short-lived however, as the Boilermakers pulled even a little over two minutes later. Freshman forward Maddy Williams received the ball out wide and dribbled toward goal, firing a shot past charging senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg. The ball looked headed for goal but Alex Hairston was alone in front of net and cleaned it up to tie the game only 4:17 into the match.
Miami regained the lead in the 37th minute when sophomore midfielder Haley Walter scored for the fourth straight game. Freshman forward Jenna Weiner sent a through ball between two Purdue defenders that the speedy Walter ran onto and booted on target just before Ginther could clear it to put the ‘Hawks back ahead, 2-1. The lead would stand at the break, as Miami outshot the Boilermakers, 5-3, in the opening half, while both teams collected one corner kick.
Again Purdue answered in the second half, pulling level in the 62nd minute when Pawlik put a penalty kick into the right corner of the goal. The Boilermakers were attacking in the left side of the box when Pawlik stumbled and fell, drawing a whistle from the referee for a penalty kick. Both teams then had good chances to pull ahead over the next 15 minutes. First, Dolesh found Zakrzewski open in the box, but her header in the 68th minute sailed just over the crossbar. Seven minutes later, Norenberg made a diving save on Purdue senior Hadley Stuart from close range to tip the ball around the post.
In the 81st minute, Miami did grab the lead as Zakrzewski and Dolesh hooked up again. Zakrzewski had possession of the ball on the left wing and waited for Dolesh to make her run, sending a through ball into the box that Dolesh tracked down and one-timed with the outside of her foot behind a charging Clara Kridler, who replaced Ginther as Purdue’s keeper at halftime. Once more, the one-goal advantage was quickly erased as just 1:21 after Dolesh’s second goal of the game, Pawlik sent a low cross along the goal line that found Stuart open for the tap-in to knot the game at 3-3.
In the final seconds of regulation, Purdue made a push but Norenberg came off her line to beat Taylor Niewoit to the ball, as the match remained square after 90 minutes and headed to overtime. In the first extra session, the RedHawks controlled play and nearly won twice but Zakrzewski hit the crossbar on two different occasions within five minutes. In the closing seconds of the first overtime, during which Miami outshot Purdue, 4-3, Stuart ripped a shot from the left side that beat Norenberg but trickled just right of the goal as the horn sounded, signaling double overtime.
A mere 1:33 into the second overtime, however, Pawlik took a pass from Niewoit on the left side of the penalty box and lofted a shot into the far back corner of the goal over an outstretched Norenberg to give Purdue the 4-3 victory.
“This is three games in a row where we’ve given the lead away late in the game and gone on to lose the game and that is just unacceptable,” Kramig said. “Clearly our focus this week is going to be on our back four and defending, but we’re playing good soccer and making progress. I have full confidence in this team and great belief that they will be very good in the MAC this year. We’re learning some tough lessons, which is okay. Some lessons are hard, but we’ve got tough, resilient kids and they’ll be fine.”
Despite the loss, Miami outshot the Boilermakers for the match, 17-12, including 8-5 in the second half. Both teams put seven shots on goal, but Kridler made four second-half saves in relief to keep Purdue alive, while Norenberg finished with a trio of saves. The ‘Hawks also finished with a 5-3 edge in corner kicks on the day.
“Our defense was considerably better today and really our entire effort was better today than it was the other day (against Milwaukee),” Kramig noted. “I do think that while this is very trying and very difficult, it is helping us get better.”
Prior to the match, the RedHawks honored their nine seniors for Senior Day, as team managers Dani Fraelick and Chelsea Hupp, student assistant coach Madison Ryan, and players Sydney Busch, Ariana Kulinczenko, Sam Parrish, Norenberg, Zakrzewski and Dolesh were recognized.
Miami looks to snap its three-game losing skid next Sunday, Sept. 22 when the RedHawks conclude non-conference play at former Mid-American Conference rival Marshall. Kickoff is set for noon in Huntington, W. Va.