DAYTON, Ohio – Kat Zalar scored twice three minutes apart as the Miami soccer team rode an early eruption by the offense in a 4-2 exhibition victory at Dayton on Friday night.
Friday’s result gives the Red and White a split of their two exhibition contests.
The RedHawks roared out of the gate, striking three times in as many minutes early on. Zalar began the onslaught on a gorgeous soccer play as Amy Malone played it into the middle in stride to Olivia Winnett, who then played it through to Zalar in the box and the senior waited and buried a shot inside the right post to make it 1-0 with just 4:11 gone by. Malone then set up another goal when her cross off a corner kick was dug out of traffic by Winnett, who tapped one to the far post and in to make it 2-0 in the seventh minute. It took just 31 seconds for Zalar to cash in her second goal when she flicked a ball played in by Chloe Knue over her head and saw it loft over Dayton keeper Kaelyn Johns and just across the line to put the Red & White on top 3-0 with just 7:11 expired off the clock.
“All three goals were a result of excellent defending,” Interim Head Coach Hugh Seyfarth said. “Kat had two quality finishes and Olivia dug in to score an ugly goal. I was really pleased with the effort all around.”
Dayton caught its breath from there and started to pressure Miami in the final third. Sara Robertson nearly put the Flyers on the board in the 11th minute when she fired a rising shot from the left side that clanged off the crossbar. Patricia Koutoulas eventually corralled the follow up shot and evnded the half with a pair of saves to keep it a 3-0 score at the half.
Things flipped for awhile in the second half as the Flyers began chipping away, scoring twice in a 3:17 span. Sara Robertson got the first tally by converting on a rebound after a tremendous point blank save by Koutoulas on Morgan Henderson. A Miami foul in the box led to a penalty kick where Alexis Kiehl’s shot just eluded a sprawling Koutoulas to cut the MU lead to 3-2.
Fast forward fifty five seconds and Winnett served a perfect ball in play off a corner kick that found the head of freshman Emily Roberts, who put it in to up the lead back to 4-2. Things slowed down the rest of the way as both teams attempted just three shots apiece the rest of the way while Miami salted away the remaining 32 minutes to close exhibition play.
The Flyers ended up with a 15-11 shot advantage overall while the RedHawks edged them out in corner kicks, 6-5. Koutoulas made four saves while clocking all 90 minutes in goal while Johns made three stops for Dayton. In addition to Zalar’s two goals, Winnett finished with four points on a goal and two assists while Malone dished out a pair of helpers as well.
Miami is done with exhibition play and opens the 2017 season on Aug. 18 when it heads to Saint Louis.