Nov. 4, 2010

OXFORD, Ohio - Looking to earn a berth in the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game for the second straight year, the second-seeded Miami University women’s soccer team will take on third-seeded Central Michigan Friday at 11 a.m. at Toledo’s Scott Park in a MAC semifinal contest.

The RedHawks (13-6-2, 5-4-1 MAC), who won the MAC East Division title, knocked off Akron in the MAC quarterfinals last Sunday, 2-0, to advance to Friday’s semifinal. It was the second straight year Miami eliminated the Zips from the MAC Tournament in the quarterfinals.

CMU (14-4-1, 10-1-0 MAC) split the MAC regular-season title with tournament host and top-seed Toledo and downed No. 6 seed Northern Illinois, 2-1, Sunday to advance in the MAC Tournament. The Chippewas and RedHawks squared off in last year’s MAC championship game with CMU coming out on top, 1-0, on its own field.

The two sides also met up in the 2010 regular season with Central Michigan claiming a 2-0 win in Oxford, striking less than 10 minutes into the match and scoring both goals in the opening half. CMU held a 17-10 edge in shots in the earlier meeting this year but both sides earned four corner kicks.

The Chippewas lead the all-time series with Miami, 10-6-2, but the ‘Hawks are 3-2 against CMU in the MAC Tournament. Miami is making its eighth appearance in the MAC semifinals, going 5-2 previously, including a win last year over Eastern Michigan as the six seed.

The RedHawks’ offense, which leads the MAC and ranks eighth nationally with a 2.52 goals per game average, has gotten hot at the right time, scoring seven goals in its last two games compared to five goals in the five games prior.

Sophomore Sara Lund (Malmo, Sweden) has scored a goal in each of Miami’s last three games after no goals in her first 11 games while freshman Katy Dolesh (South Euclid, Ohio) is second on the team and tied for sixth in the MAC with seven goals.

Defensively, the RedHawks rank seventh in the conference with a 1.34 goals-against average while ranking sixth in MAC play only despite having a 1.38 GAA. Freshman keeper Madison Ryan (Marietta, Ga.), one of three goalkeepers to see time in goal for the Red and White this year, has started the last four games in net for Miami. She has a 1.12 GAA and a .750 save percentage on the year with a 3-1-1 record, including her first career shutout in the win over Akron.

CMU has the top offense in the MAC in league play only, averaging 2.18 goals a game, but rank fourth in the MAC on the season with 1.68 goals per contest. Laura Twidle leads the Chippewas with seven goals, which ties for sixth in the MAC. Central Michigan is also the top defensive team in the MAC with a 0.52 GAA, giving up just 10 goals all year, including just four in conference play. Goalkeeper Shay Mannino’s 0.43 GAA is first in the MAC as well, while her .861 save percentage is second in the league.

Should Miami defeat CMU, the RedHawks would play the winner of the Rockets and fifth-seeded Western Michigan, who play at 2 p.m. Friday, in the MAC Championship game Sunday at 1 p.m. Miami is 1-0 all-time against the Broncos in the MAC Tournament but 0-2 against Toledo. The ‘Hawks have won the MAC Tournament three times in school history (2000, 2001, 2002).

Live stats will be available for all three MAC Tournament games this weekend at MAC-Sports.com.

--MURedHawks.com--