By Drew Davis

OXFORD, Ohio – Fresh off a 1-0 win over Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo to end a losing streak, Miami’s women’s soccer team hosts rival Ohio on Friday at 4 p.m. followed by Kent State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Miami Soccer Field. The RedHawks (4-6-0, 1-1-0 MAC) look to start a winning streak with their first home league games after spending the last two weeks on the road.

Last Friday Miami surrendered two goals to Akron’s Lani Smith before junior Hailey Pleshakov used a header to pull the Red and White to within one. The Zips, however, would hold on for the 2-1 win, sending the RedHawks to their fifth-straight loss and first conference defeat since the 2011 season. Two days later Miami bounced back, taking a hard-fought 1-0 win over Buffalo on the Bulls’ home field with Pleshakov again leading the way, setting up senior Katy Dolesh’s game-winner in what head coach Bobby Kramig called “an inspiring performance.”

Dolesh and fellow senior Kayla Zakrzewski lead the RedHawks offensively as Dolesh has tallied six goals, tied for second in the MAC, along with an assist for 13 points and Zakrzewski has registered 12 points on three goals and six assists. Overall, Miami is second in the league in scoring, averaging 2.1 goals per game. Senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg is 3-6-0 on the season with a 1.85 goals against average and a .595 save percentage, but is coming off her third shutout of the season, a game in which she made six saves in the winning effort.

The RedHawks will look to reassert themselves as the team to beat in the MAC when they face rival Ohio (5-3-2, 1-1-0 MAC), a team that comes to Oxford with a 5-1-1 record in its last seven games. The Bobcats saw a six-match unbeaten streak end at the hands of Central Michigan last Sunday by a score of 2-1. Ohio has been brilliant on the road with a 3-0-1 record away from Athens while Miami looks to put its home struggles, 1-3 in Oxford, in the rearview mirror. The RedHawks hold a 12-8-0 advantage in the all-time series, winning each of the last four matches.

The Bobcats are led by redshirt freshman Carly Manso who has eight points on two goals and four assists this season as well as leading scorer, senior Maggie Murnane, who has scored three goals on the year. In goal for Ohio will likely be senior Mattie Liston who has allowed just 0.88 goals per game with a .767 save percentage and two shutouts. The Bobcats are tied for fourth in the MAC in both goal and goals allowed with a 1.7 goals per game average offensively while allowing 1.1 per match defensively.

Sunday’s opponent, Kent State, is 6-4-0 overall with a 1-1-0 record in conference play.  Last weekend the Golden Flashes split with Central Michigan and Bowling Green, falling to the Chippewas, 1-0, before erupting for a 5-1 win over the Falcons, both on their home field. Senior Jessacca Gironda leads the team with six goals and 15 points while freshman Jenna Hellstrom leads the team in assists with four to go along with three goals, all in just six games played. The RedHawks are 10-6-1 historically against the Flashes with four-straight wins in the series.

Live stats links will be available on MURedHawks.com on gameday for each match.