OXFORD, Ohio - Making its first NCAA
Tournament appearance since 2002, the Miami University women's soccer team will
head to Knoxville, Tenn. for its NCAA First Round game as the RedHawks were
pitted against No. 19 Tennessee when the NCAA bracket was announced Monday.
Miami will battle the Lady Vols on Sunday at 2 p.m. at UT's Regal Soccer
Stadium. The team gathered at the Gross Student-Athlete Development Center to
watch Monday's NCAA Selection Show.
The RedHawks (19-2-1, 10-0-1
Mid-American Conference) are coming off the program's fourth MAC Tournament
championship, which they earned Sunday with a 2-1 win over Central Michigan in
Oxford. The victory clinched Miami an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Miami also won the MAC regular-season title for just the second time in school
history (2002), becoming only the second team in MAC history to go unbeaten in
"To see all the hard work
over the year pay off in an NCAA Tournament berth, we're very excited and
pleased with the draw," head coach Bobby Kramig said. "Tennessee's a great team
and they certainly present a great challenge to us, but our kids feel pretty
good about what's going on and we're excited to get down there and play."
Miami enters the NCAA Tournament on a
school-record 15-game unbeaten streak, going 14-0-1 during that stretch. The
RedHawks will be making their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament, also
qualifying in 2000, 2001 and 2002, while Miami won its first-round games in
both 2001 and 2002, beating West Virginia and Michigan State, respectively. The
RedHawks' 19 wins tie a school record (2002) and also tie for the most in the
country this year.
Sunday's NCAA First Round match-up
will mark the first ever meeting between Miami and Tennessee in women's soccer.
The only SEC team the RedHawks have ever faced is Kentucky, going 0-3-0 against
the Wildcats, last playing in 2006. Miami is one of just three teams
nationally, however, to win every road game this year as the 'Hawks are 9-0-0
on the road this season.
Tennessee (14-4-3, 9-3-1 SEC) was
bounced in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament Oct. 31, as the Lady Vols
tied Auburn, 0-0, but were eliminated on penalty kicks. UT finished second in
the SEC East Division in the regular season and was third overall in the
conference while the Lady Vols closed out the regular season on a four-game
winning streak. Tennessee boasts a pair of All-SEC performers in sophomore
forward Hannah Wilkinson (first team) and senior defender Ali Hall (second
Sunday's match puts Miami's
high-powered offense against a tough Tennessee defense. UT ranks 13th
nationally on defense with a 0.59 goals-against average while the RedHawks rank
10th nationally on offense, scoring 2.55 goals per game.
The RedHawks feature MAC Offensive
Player of the Year, senior Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.), and the MAC Freshman
of the Year in Haley Walter (Cincinnati, Ohio). Juniors Katy Dolesh (Chardon,
Ohio) and Kayla Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) and sophomore Kelsey Dinges
(Smithton, Ill.) all earned First-Team All-MAC honors along with Kodiak while
Walter was tabbed to the All-MAC Second Team. All five of them have at least
eight goals and 24 points this season.
"I think we need to keep
doing what we've been doing all season," said Kodiak, the team captain. "We
score goals and our defense keeps getting better and better and more confident.
We just need to go out there and keep doing what we do."
Should Miami advance to the NCAA
Second Round, the RedHawks would face the winner of third-seeded Duke and
Loyola Maryland on Friday, Nov. 16.
tickets to Sunday's NCAA first-round match, call the Tennessee ticket office at
865-656-1200 or 1-800-322-VOLS.