Oct. 20, 2011

Captains' Corner is a weekly update from a captain or leader of one of the RedHawks' 19 teams that will run every other Thursday throughout the academic year. Today's update is from women's soccer's Haley Clark. Haley is a senior from London, Ontario, who played with North London Soccer Club prior to Miami. She is a chemical engineering major. Check back on Nov. 3 for the next edition of Captains' Corner.

As our 2011 regular season comes to an end it is an excellent time to look back and reflect on the progress our team has made throughout the last three months. We came into pre-season prepared to work hard, knowing there would be a lot of competition for starting spots on the field.

We have a very young team this year with 23 talented freshmen and sophomores on a roster of 28. One of the biggest challenges we faced this season was trying to come together as a team. We had to completely rebuild our defensive line and then learn how to effectively connect as a whole with the midfielders and forwards.

This season we have definitely had our ups and downs. We started our season strong showing our offensive strength during our non-conference games. Our team kicked off MAC play with a big win over Kent State but then fell into a bit of a rut and lost the next five games. Losing that many games in a row is extremely difficult. It would have been easy to check out mentally and coast through the rest of the season, but our team is determined to get better and prove that we are a force to be reckoned with. Last weekend we did just that by defeating the former MAC East Division leaders, Ohio and Akron.

We started to gel and play well together again a few weeks ago, and every player is continuing to step up their game. We need to keep playing this way in order to make it into the MAC Tournament.

We look to extend our winning streak at our upcoming home games on Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. vs. Northern Illinois and Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. vs. Western Michigan. Hope to see you all there and don't forget that Sunday is our Breast Cancer Awareness game so wear your pink!

Love and Honor,
Haley Clark