April 27, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio – Having recently completed a difficult spring exhibition slate, the Miami University women’s soccer team revealed a challenging 2012 schedule that was announced by head coach Bobby Kramig Friday.
The RedHawks will host 10 home games during the year at Miami Soccer Field and face three teams that made last year’s NCAA Tournament. Miami also takes on six squads in the non-conference portion of its schedule that the ‘Hawks have never played before.
Before beginning the regular season, Miami will take a trip to Virginia for an exhibition match at Radford on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. The ‘Hawks have never faced the Highlanders, who won the Big South Tournament last year and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The RedHawks open regular-season play at home against local rival Xavier on Friday, Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. Miami is 2-3-0 all-time against the Musketeers, including a 2-1 loss at Xavier last season. Two days later, Miami heads to Indianapolis for a date with IUPUI on Aug. 19. The ‘Hawks have never lost to the Jaguars, going 3-0-0 all-time, including a 4-0 victory in Oxford a year ago.
Big Ten foe Northwestern comes calling the following Friday, Aug. 24, as the Wildcats and RedHawks tangle for the first time ever on the pitch. Northwestern is the first Big Ten team to visit Oxford since Michigan did so early in the 2008 season, which Miami lost, 1-0. That game was also Miami’s last against a Big Ten squad. The RedHawks then travel to Wisconsin for a match-up at Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sunday, Aug. 26. The game will be Miami’s first ever against the Panthers, who won the Horizon League in 2011 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Ohio State.
Miami only plays one game the following weekend, heading south to Nashville, Tenn. for a contest at Belmont out of the Atlantic Sun on Sunday, Sept. 2, which will be the first meeting between the teams. The RedHawks then return home for a pair of matches on consecutive Fridays. First on Sept. 7, Austin Peay out of the Ohio Valley Conference visits Miami Soccer Field before IPFW comes to Oxford the following week on Sept. 14. It will be the first meetings with either of those teams for Miami.
The ‘Hawks then conclude non-conference play at Indiana State out of the Missouri Valley Conference on Sunday, Sept. 16. The match is a return game from last year when Miami topped the Sycamores, 2-1 in overtime in Oxford, in the only previous meeting between the sides.
“It’s a more challenging schedule (than last year), no doubt about that. However, I like the team we have coming back and I believe we can compete successfully against all of these teams,” Kramig said. “We wanted to more fully test ourselves prior to beginning conference play this year and I believe this schedule does that.”
Miami begins Mid-American Conference play with a pair of home matches, hosting Akron on Friday, Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. before welcoming Buffalo that Sunday, Sept. 23. Ohio and Kent State are the RedHawks’ first road MAC matches of the year the following weekend.
A pair of Michigan squads come to Oxford Oct. 5 and 7 as Western Michigan visits first as part of soccer’s Alumni Weekend while Eastern Michigan then battles Miami two days later on Senior Day. The ‘Hawks play three straight road matches in league play from Oct. 12-19 with defending MAC regular-season and tournament champion Toledo the middle of the three contests.
Regular-season MAC play concludes with two home games for Miami. Bowling Green visits Oxford Sunday, Oct. 21 while Ball State rounds out the 2012 regular season on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 3 p.m.
The MAC Tournament will take place from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 at campus sites with the top eight teams in the regular season qualifying for the tournament. The top four seeds host the quarterfinals Sunday, Oct. 28 while the highest remaining seed will host the semifinals and championship Nov. 2 and 4 with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which Toledo earned in 2011.
Miami is coming off a 9-8-1 season in which the RedHawks went 4-6-1 in league play and finished ninth in the MAC, missing the conference tournament for the first time since 2003. The ‘Hawks went 1-4 in their recently completed spring exhibition schedule, but faced several NCAA Tournament teams from last year, including Louisville and Kentucky. Miami does return all three of its All-MAC performers from last year however, in first-teamers rising senior and captain Jess Kodiak and rising junior Katy Dolesh while fellow rising junior Kayla Zakrzewski was a second-team recipient. The RedHawks also return nine starters from last year’s team.