OXFORD, Ohio—It took just 4:26 minutes for the Miami University women’s soccer team to score a goal, and that was all the RedHawks needed as they collected their sixth straight shutout and fourth consecutive win in a 1-0 triumph over Central Michigan University on Friday afternoon at the Miami Soccer Field.
It was a key Mid-American Conference win for the RedHawks (9-6-2; 6-1-2 MAC) as they topped the West Division co-leading Chippewas (6-10-1; 6-3-0 MAC). With West Division co-leader Eastern Michigan’s 1-1 tie against Buffalo on Friday afternoon, Miami moved into sole possession of first place in the MAC.
“We clinched a MAC Tournament berth last weekend,” said head coach Bobby Kramig. “This one today probably didn’t do anything for us in terms of clinching the division or a home quarterfinal, but it certainly was a huge help and a huge step in that direction. We put ourselves in a very good position, and it’s going to be up to us to capitalize on it.”
Sophomore midfielder Jess Bronke headed in a goal in the fifth minute off a corner kick from junior forward Hailey Pleshakov. It was one of five shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes for the RedHawks as the Chippewas took just two shots for the half, one of which was on goal.
CMU kept senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg busier in the second half, taking eight shots over the final 45 minutes, four of which were on goal.
“Central Michigan is a very good team, and I’m really impressed by how they play. It was a game that was going to require big plays, and certainly Allison (Norenberg) pulled one out there. Fantastic,” said Kramig. “The defensive had to work hard today. I thought they did a great job. It was a very disciplined effort on their part. They kept their shape and didn’t get drawn out of position too much. I felt like they did a nice job, and I’m really pleased with them.“
With the shutout, Norenberg set the Miami single-season record for shutouts, collecting her ninth of the season. She added to her career shutouts record, posting her 21st.
“As has been the case, I thought we left a number of goals on the field today,” added Kramig. “We are certainly getting chances, and it would be nice to see us put a couple of more away, but I like the way our offense is clicking right now. Everyone is on the same page. They’re all playing the same game, playing more aggressively, playing with more confidence. That helps us a lot. That helps take pressure off the defense.”
The win extended Miami’s unbeaten streak to eight games and was the RedHawks’ ninth shutout win of the season.
Miami travels to Bowling Green for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday, Oct. 27 and rounds out the regular season at Ball State on Thursday, Oct. 31.