TOLEDO, Ohio - Central Michigan’s Kaely Schlosser scored two goals, including the go-ahead score in the second half, which handed the Miami University women’s soccer team a 2-1 loss Friday in the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals at Toledo’s Scott Park. Despite a valiant effort, the RedHawks fell short, ending their season at 13-7-2 (5-4-2 MAC) while CMU (15-4-1, 10-1-0 MAC), the co-MAC champions, advances to the MAC title game Sunday against the winner of top-seeded Toledo and fifth-seeded Western Michigan.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. “We went out there and turned in a great effort. The team did the things that we asked them to do for the most part and we nearly pulled it off.”
The Chippewas struck early as Schlosser stuck home a rebound in the 11th minute to put CMU up 1-0. Freshman keeper Madison Ryan (Marietta, Ga.) made the initial stop on Claire Horton’s blast that came off a long throw-in, but the ball bounced right out to Schlosser for the putaway.
Miami responded in the 20th minute, however, as freshman Katy Dolesh (South Euclid, Ohio), who had entered the game just a minute earlier, evened the contest at one with her eighth tally of the year, tying her for the team lead. Sophomore Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.) passed the ball into the box to junior Sarah Dessfelt (Vellinge, Sweden), who crossed it, allowing Dolesh to get on the other end and head the ball home. Dessfelt picked up the assist on the score.
“She (Dolesh) made a strong run out of the midfield, which is what Katy Dolesh does, and shot through the middle of the Central defense, found the ball and polished it off,” Kramig said. “It was a typical Katy Dolesh goal.”
Central Michigan put pressure on the ‘Hawks in the closing seconds of the opening half but Ryan made a pair of saves as the game remained even at 1-1 heading into halftime. CMU held an 11-4 edge in shots at the break, including 6-2 on goal, but Ryan had five stops in the first 45 minutes, to keep the match tied.
The Chippewas again came out firing in the second stanza, taking three shots in the first seven minutes before Schlosser again found the back of the net in the 57th minute, also off a throw-in. Bailey Brandon had a long toss into the box that Valerie Prause collected before Miami could clear it and passed to Schlosser, who chipped the ball over Ryan, putting CMU up, 2-1.
“We have to take responsibility for both goals,” Kramig said. “It was certainly disappointing to give up a goal on a throw-in, especially with as much as we worked on it this week, but credit to Central, they’re a good team and we wish them well.”
The RedHawks tried to answer once more, blasting four shots over the next eight minutes, including a pair from senior Sara Lund (Malmo, Sweden), but none found the goal as CMU’s Shay Mannino stopped two and the others were off target. Miami then earned its first and only corner of the match in the 70th minute but senior Julie Thompson (Glenview, Ill.) had her shot blocked by a Chippewa defender.
The teams traded possession much of the remainder of the contest with Miami making one last effort to draw level again, but Lund’s shot in the closing minutes went wide and Central Michigan held on for the 2-1 victory.
CMU finished with a 17-10 edge in shots, including 9-4 in shots on goal. Ryan totaled a career-high seven saves in defeat while Mannino ended the match with a trio of saves. Both teams had just one corner in the contest.
Miami’s 13 wins in 2010 marked its most since 2002 and are the fourth most in program history. The RedHawks also captured the East Division title for the first time in just the second year of having divisions in MAC soccer. Friday’s match was the final game for Miami’s six seniors (Rachelle Boff, Jessica Byron, Rachel Byron, Brooke Livingston, Lund and Thompson).