OXFORD, Ohio – After clinching the Mid-American Conference East regular season championship and guaranteeing at least a top four finish in the conference, the Miami women’s soccer team will host a league tournament game on Sunday, but first travels to Ball State in the regular season finale on Thursday, Oct. 31.
The RedHawks, after dropping their first league-game of the season, are unbeaten in their last nine. They have a 9-6-3 record overall and are 6-1-3 in the MAC. During the streak, senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg recorded six shutouts in a row, setting Miami’s all-time career and single-season records for whitewashes with 21 and nine, respectively. Offensively, the RedHawks are led by junior Kelsey Dinges and seniors Katy Dolesh and Kayla Zakrzewski. Dinges leads with 17 points on six goals and five assists. Her six goals are tied for the team lead with Dolesh, who also has two assists for 14 points. Zakrzewski leads in assists with six while also adding five goals for 16 points.
Last weekend Miami collected a shutout win over Central Michigan on Friday before settling for a draw with Bowling Green on Sunday. In Friday’s 1-0 win at home, sophomore midfielder Jess Bronke scored her fifth of the season on a header from a corner kick by junior forward Hailey Pleshakov in the fifth minute of the match. On Sunday the RedHawks took a lead less than four minutes into the second half when freshman midfielder Taylor Jackson scored her second of the season, but the Falcons battled back to even the score a little over a minute and a half later and the two teams played to a 1-1 double overtime tie in Bowling Green.
On Thursday Miami will visit Ball State (10-5-3; 5-3-2 MAC) in the final game of the regular season. The Cardinals are fourth in the MAC West and sixth overall, but have a chance to improve their overall standing with a win and a Kent State loss. Last weekend they defeated Bowling Green, 2-0, on Friday before falling to Central Michigan in a close, 1-0 game on Sunday. Senior Michelle Blok leads the Cardinals in points with 10 on four goals and two assists. Her four goals are tied for the team lead in goals with two other players.
The RedHawks have locked in a top-four spot in the conference standings, ensuring a home quarterfinal match on Sunday, but can still finish higher in the standing, including the possibility of an overall MAC Championship. In order to grab a share of the conference regular season title, Miami needs a win over Ball State and a tie between Eastern and Western Michigan on Thursday afternoon.
The RedHawks and Cardinals start at 3 p.m. on Thursday with live stats available here with all MAC scores here. Sunday’s home tournament match will start at 1 p.m. with the opponent yet to be determined.