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Published 08/15/2013
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Soccer Set for Pair of Preseason Exhibitions

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Miami Hurricanes will open the 2013 season Friday night with an exhibition against preseason No. 23 Ohio State. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The Hurricanes, who opened preseason training last Wednesday under first-year head coach Mary-Frances Monroe, will then make the short trip to Dayton for a second exhibition before returning home. Sunday’s match against the Flyers will kick off at noon.

For Monroe, the opportunity to see her players compete against talented opposition ahead of their Aug. 23 season opener against Cincinnati is invaluable.

“You can only do so much when you’re playing each other in training every day,” Monroe said. “I think we’re in a good place. The team is working hard and I can’t wait to see their personalities when we get into the competitive atmosphere of playing a different team.”

Miami came away with two wins during its 2012 preseason trip to Ohio, outscoring the Buckeyes and Flyers by a combined 5-0 margin. But for Monroe and staff, the importance of this weekend’s matches is much more significant than wins and losses.

“The competition will allow us to see our strengths, but also reveal some flaws and things we need to work on - especially as a new coaching staff,” Monroe said. “It’s imperative we play top teams early so we’re able to handle those types of opponents heading into our conference schedule.”

Monroe, who added former Albany colleague Kate Dylag and goalkeepers coach Chris White to her staff just last month, says her group is excited to shift its permanent focus to the field once the first whistle blows Friday.

“It has definitely been a big transition,” she said. “The entire coaching staff is really excited - we’ve been putting in hard work here every day, doing two-a-days, explaining our philosophy, evaluating every player. It’s definitely a unique situation.”

Sophomore forward Jasmine Paterson opened her career in impressive fashion during the 2012 preseason trip, tallying goals in both matches. The Key Largo, Fla., native went on to earn 2012 ACC All-Freshman honors, ending the season ranked among the team leaders in every offensive category.

Will another player emerge this weekend? Monroe is looking forward to that possibility.

“We can’t wait for that moment when they’re under the lights, playing in the first scrimmage of the fall, and you can see them take over in that type of environment,” she said.