Sunday's MAC Women's Soccer Results
Miami 3, Eastern Kentucky 0
Cincinnati 2, Ohio 0
Akron 2, Wright State 1
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information departments
Miami 3, Eastern Kentucky 0
OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami women's soccer team scored three goals in the first 10 minutes Sunday afternoon at Miami Soccer Field and never looked back, knocking off Eastern Kentucky 3-0 to claim its home opener for a second straight season. The RedHawks (1-1) improved to 8-4-1 all-time in home openers, while the meeting between the Colonels (0-2) and 'Hawks was the first ever between the schools.
Senior midfielder Kersta Carlson (Plymouth, Minn.) tallied three points in the contest, scoring the game's opening goal, and what proved to be the game-winner, and added an assist, the first of her career, on Miami's final tally of the day. Senior goalkeeper Krista Pace (Toronto, Ont.) recorded the shutout in net, the ninth of her career, leaving her one shy of tying Katie Karlander (2001-02) for the most shutouts in RedHawk history.
Miami jumped on Eastern Kentucky from the start, scoring a flurry of goals in the game's opening 10 minutes. Carlson opened the scoring just 2:13 into the match on a cross from the left flank by senior forward Jodi Zwingelberg (Elgin, Ill.), who garnered the assist. Just over two minutes later, junior midfielder Julie Thompson (Glenview, Ill.) found the back of the net on a textbook cross from senior midfielder Stephanie Laser (Hinsdale, Ill.). The RedHawks then finished the outburst in the 10th minute when sophomore forward Courtney Clarke (Scarborough, Ont.) headed home a corner kick from the foot of Carlson.
"We asked for a good start this morning because we hadn't done that yet and certainly we had about as good a start as you can ask for," Miami head coach Bobby Kramig said. "I was really pleased with the way we came out. We scored some terrific goals - just quality service in from the flanks and some absolute brilliant finishes. So I was really pleased with that."
After scoring on its first three shots of the day, Miami would not find the net again despite outshooting EKU 15-9, including a 9-2 edge in shots on goal. The Colonels fired six shots in the opening half, including one that hit the crossbar, but none were on target thanks to a strong effort from the RedHawks defense.
"I thought we took our foot off the gas a little bit and it's an easy thing to do when you're up 3-0 10 minutes into the game," Kramig said. "It is understandable but it is not acceptable. I think we're making progress. There were more ideas out (on the field) today than there were against Louisville (Friday). I thought we had a little more aggressive mindset today, which I was pleased with, but the basic idea of how we want to play is in place, we just need to execute better and more aggressively."
In the second half, Miami again created opportunities taking eight shots but narrowly missed heading or kicking the ball past EKU keeper Emma Werner multiple times, while also sailing a penalty kick over the crossbar. The Colonels put two shots on frame in the second stanza, but neither troubled Pace. The Red and White earned six corners in the final half to Eastern Kentucky's one and held an 8-2 advantage in that department for the match.
"I wasn't happy with the way we came out (in the second half), but I thought it got better as the half went on," Kramig said. "I'm disappointed we didn't get another goal or two and very disappointed with the missed penalty kick, but I thought we got revved up and going again. I was absolutely delighted with the shutout. Anytime you can hold a team scoreless you've got to be pleased. The defense played well. We were a little better organized at the back than against Louisville. Eastern Kentucky had a couple of opportunities in the first half but I think as the game went on we tightened up and didn't give them too much in the second half."
Werner finished with six saves for EKU, while Pace needed to make just two stops to record her first shutout of the season. Zwingelberg paced Miami with a trio of shots while Thompson had two and both put two on goal. Junior Carly Muller led the Colonels with three shots, including one on net.
The RedHawks have next weekend off before returning to the pitch Friday, Sep. 4 against Youngstown State. Opening whistle is set for 5 p.m. ET at Miami Soccer Field.
Cincinnati 2, Ohio 0
ATHENS, Ohio - In the first-ever meeting between the two in-state schools, Cincinnati took advantage of two first-half goals to come away with a 2-0 victory over Ohio in the Bobcats' 2009 home opener Sunday at Chessa Field.
"Cincinnati has good players. They move the ball effectively," Ohio coach Stacy Strauss said. "We didn't read the ball and anticipate where we were going as well as we should have. We made the adjustments the second half and played with more intensity. That is a mentality that we needed to come out with from the start. We challenged the girls at the end of the game to come out next match and play like we did the second half today from the start."
The match looked like it would be a seesaw battle in the opening minutes as neither side managed to establish possession or put the pressure on the other side. The Bearcats took advantage of an athletic defensive unit that was able to slow Ohio's offense and put the Green and White on the defensive. The Bobcat defense held tough until midway through the 22nd minute when the Bearcats got the ball deep in the Ohio box and Logan Ballinger knocked a shot just past the finger tips of the `Cats' Christa Puccio (Scaggsville, Md.) and into the top left corner of the net.
Cincinnati notched its second goal of the day just over five minutes, taking advantage of an Ohio foul inside the box. Melissa Bigg then converted the penalty kick to give the Bearcats the 2-0 advantage. Ohio was unable to get the pressure it needed and Cincinatti took that advantage into the half.
The Bobcats picked up the intensity to start the second half and put pressure on Cincinnati. Jasmine Merith (Richmond Hill, Ontario) had an opportunity three minutes in when she read the ball and got behind the Bearcat defense, but her shot sailed just wide of the goal. Rachael Philpot (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed suit a few minutes later, firing a missile shot from several yards out, but the Bearcat keeper got in the way to make the save. Cincinnati tried to respond and extend its lead, but the Green and White defense held tough and was able to turn away several Bearcat opportunities. Unfortunately for Ohio, the Cincinnati defense held tough as well the second half and would not allow the `Cats to put anything on the board.
Three Green and White players tallied shots on goal, including Philpot, Amy Lower (West Chester, Ohio) and Paige Howard (Mentor, Ohio). Puccio picked up six saves in the net for Ohio. The Bearcats outshot the Bobcats 18-6 on the day.
The `Cats will look to bounce back Friday when it heads just up the road to battle its neighbors to the west, Ohio State. First touch is set for 7:30 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Akron 2, Wright State 1
AKRON, Ohio - A pair of goals early in the first half helped the University of Akron women's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Wright State on Sunday in its season opener at Lee Jackson Field.
Sophomore Rachel Phillip was involved in both scoring sequences, assisting on the Zips' first goal and then scoring what would prove to be the eventual gamewinner a few minutes later.
Phillip's goal came off a breakaway in the 23rd minute. Junior Alysia Virkler put UA on the board first, controlling a ball headed to her by Phillips and then sending it past Wright State (0-2-0) goalkeeper Meghan Hackerson in the 18th minute. Hackerson finished the contest with four saves.
Akron (1-0-0) road a 2-0 cushion into the intermission, following an opening period in which both teams managed six shots and UA sophomore goalkeeper Jenn Wolbert made six of her nine saves for the night.
WSU scored its lone goal in the 52nd minute, when Brittany Persaud sent in an arching shot from 30-yards out near the top-right corner of the box. The ball went off the tips of Wolbert's outstretched fingers.
"We had good energy and maintained possession early," Akron head coach Chris Pfau said. "But then we hit a bit of a lull in the second half and gave up an ugly goal. We need to learn how to keep the energy level more consistent, we picked up our energy late and had some other good scoring opportunities. We are playing around with our back four and learning to use our bench."
Akron plays host to IPFW on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EDT.