OXFORD, Ohio – In a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair, that included three lead changes and three ties, the Miami University women’s soccer team fell to Milwaukee in the closing minutes, 4-3, Friday afternoon at Miami Soccer Field. The match saw the RedHawks (3-3-0) and Panthers (1-5-1) combine for six second-half goals, with Milwaukee scoring the final two in the last 10 minutes.
“We’re going to have to go back and watch the videotape on it,” head coach Bobby Kramig said of the final 10 minutes. “I was concerned about our organization back there and I was concerned about our communication back there. But sometimes if I don’t hear it, it doesn’t mean it’s not going on. So we’re just going to have to go back to the video and see if we can get it sorted out. Clearly, we have to be better than this defensively.”
Miami applied good pressure in the opening minutes, earning multiple corner kicks and had several close looks with UWM keeper Paige Lincicum often coming off her line, but the RedHawks couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. The Panthers took the first lead in the 28th minute when Kelly Lewers sent a pass up the middle to Kelsey Holbert, who split a pair of RedHawk defenders and slotted the ball in the back left corner of the net passed senior goalkeeper Allison Norenberg.
Just over five minutes later, Miami nearly drew even when freshman midfielder Rachel Marble found a loose ball alone in front of the cage but her shot slid over the crossbar, as the RedHawks went into halftime down a goal. The opening 45 minutes were relatively even, as both sides managed four shots, each putting two on frame, while Miami held a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.
The fireworks started quickly in the second stanza as sophomore midfielder Haley Walter scored in her third straight game just 1:29 into the half. Junior forward Hailey Pleshakov slipped a pass through two Panther defenders, while senior midfielder Kayla Zakrzewski ran onto the ball from the left flank and fired a shot to the far post around the charging Lincicum. The ball was nearly across the line when Walter made sure it crossed with a boot to knot the contest at 1-1 on her third tally of the year.
Miami then grabbed its first lead of the afternoon in the 67th minute when senior midfielder Katy Dolesh cleaned up a corner kick in the penalty box. Junior midfielder Kelsey Dinges picked up the assist as her corner slipped through Lincicum’s hands and fell to Dolesh, who volleyed the ball out of the air and into the back of the net for her third goal of the season.
In the 75th minute, Milwaukee pulled even at 2-2 when Krissy Dorre put a shot from inside the penalty box into the back right corner of the frame, after taking Lewers’ through ball up the middle. Sara Stern also earned an assist on the score. Only 21 seconds later, the ‘Hawks regained the lead when Dinges blasted a long shot from the top right corner of the box under Lincicum’s hands and into the far corner for a 3-2 Miami lead. It was her third tally of the year, as well, giving her a three-point night.
The RedHawks would not score again however, while Milwaukee scored twice. In the 81st minute, Dorre fed Morgan LaPlant, who found a seam in the defense and ripped a shot into the top right corner of the goal to level the match at 3-3. The Panthers then scored the game-winner with just 1:14 remaining in the contest as Lewers dribbled through the defense and blasted her shot upper 90, again on the right side, to give UWM the 4-3 victory. Lewers completed the day with a goal and two assists.
Despite the loss, Miami finished with an 11-9 advantage in shots, and also earned six corner kicks to Milwaukee’s three. Lincicum totaled four saves though to help the Panthers get the win. Norenberg had three saves in the loss, while the four goals allowed were the most she had given up in a regular-season game in her three-year career. Miami was the more physical side, committing 13 fouls to just two for UWM, but it did not slow the Panthers down.
“I think we’ll be ready to go (Sunday). I’m not too terribly worried about that,” Kramig said. “I’m concerned about some of the organization problems in the back. I know our kids will come to play.”
The RedHawks look to snap a two-game skid on Sunday when they host Big Ten foe Purdue for Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Miami Soccer Field while Miami’s six seniors and four senior managers will be honored prior to the game. The match will also be streamed live on MURedHawks.com via the Miami All-Access subscription package.