April 21, 2012

OXFORD, Ohio - Playing its final game of the spring season, the Miami University women's soccer team finished on a strong note, earning a 3-1 win over California (Pa.) Saturday afternoon at Miami Soccer Field. The victory was the RedHawks' first of the spring exhibition schedule as Miami finished 1-4 against strong competition that included Kentucky and Louisville.

"It's always good to finish positively. I know it was our only win this spring but I'm not sure that it was the best performance out of our team this spring, however there's something to be said for being effective," head coach Bobby Kramig said. "I thought Saturday we did that. We had some things come together that we've been working on in the spring."

Three different RedHawks found the back of the net as rising junior Kayla Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) opened the scoring in the first half. After a ball was played through the box, Zakrzewski went to the far post for the tap-in and a 1-0 lead. She played well in the field after suffering a minor injury earlier in the spring.

Rising junior goalkeeper Madison Ryan (Marietta, Ga.) started the game and played the first half, pitching a shutout, giving the `Hawks a 1-0 lead at halftime. As Miami has done all spring, rising sophomore keeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) relieved Ryan at the break and played the second half. Norenberg allowed the Vulcans' only goal on a long shot from 40 yards out, as she was caught too far off her line and the ball sailed over her head.

The `Hawks scored two goals of their own in the final frame, the first of which came off the head of rising junior Katy Dolesh (South Euclid, Ohio), as she finished a cross in the box at the far post. Rising sophomore Hailey Pleshakov (Brighton, Mich.) then notched Miami's third tally with a solid run behind the defense, where she finished a through ball from rising senior captain Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.).

"I was particularly pleased with Pleshakov's goal," Kramig said. "That was something we worked very hard on this week in practice. We found Jess Kodiak with the ball at her feet at the top of the 18 (yard box). Hailey made a terrific run in behind the defense, Kodiak found her with a very nice pass and Hailey did a good job of finishing it off. It's nice to see practice pay off in the game."

In addition to the scoring, the match was very physical with lots of fouls and late challenges.

"I thought our kids did a great job of keeping their composure and staying focused on the game and how we want to play rather than complaining about the referees and the physicality of the game," Kramig said. "They seemed to just put it out of their mind and accepted that's the way the game's going to be played and went about their business."

The RedHawks may not have won many games in the spring but Kramig was pleased with what his team accomplished over the last four weeks.

"Though we didn't get much in the way of good results this spring, I felt like we got an awful lot accomplished. The things we set out to do in the spring and the things we set out to improve upon, we did improve upon them," Kramig said. "We played a very difficult schedule -- only one team that didn't make the NCAA Tournament last year. Playing against good, quality opponents will only serve to make us better in the future."

Miami's 2012 fall schedule will be announced in the next few weeks.