RedHawks notch win on International Day
The Miami University field hockey team (8-8, 2-1 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) improved to .500 for the first time this season with a resounding 9-1 win over Appalachian State University. The nine goals are the most that the RedHawks have scored since scoring nine goals twice during the 2009 season.
The RedHawks worked with the Miami University International Student Organization (MUISO) to celebrate International Day. The four international members of the team and the MUISO were all honored before the game. Junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller, vice president of MUISO, freshman midfielder Leni Gross and freshman midfielder Bea Dechant all come from Germany and sophomore forward Valentina Neira is from Argentina. Neira and Dechant were named captains to celebrate the day, but that was not the biggest surprise.
"My dad surprised me yesterday," Neira said. "I hadn't seen him since January, and this was the first game that he has been here."
Miami's offense dominated possession in their offensive zone early in the game but was not able to break through until the 13th minute. Junior back Sid Marcum's shot was saved by senior goalkeeper Sarah Anderson, but junior midfielder Jordan Long put home the rebound to put the RedHawks up 1-0.
Miami kept possession of the ball and had several good looks, including two penalty corners, but Anderson made some big saves to keep the score 1-0. The RedHawks scored again in the 32rd minute, when sophomore midfielder Gabby Goldbach found junior forward Alyssa Logan to make it 2-0. Logan would score again in the 33rd minute, this time off of an assist from Neira to make it 3-0 going into halftime.
"The off-ball movement really caught them off guard," Logan said.
Appalachian State struck first in the second half, as senior forward Lesley Thomas, a native of Zimbabwe, scored on a breakaway to make the score 3-1. Miami quickly responded, as Neira found junior forward Emily Gruesser for a goal 42 seconds later to make it 4-1.
The RedHawks capitalized on a scrum in front of the net in the 54th minute, as Logan poked the ball into the goal to complete her hat trick, making it 5-1. Two minutes later, Miami added its sixth goal off a breakaway from senior midfielder Olivia Miller. In the 59th minute, freshman forward Angela Amon scored her second career goal to make the score 7-1, and the RedHawks capitalized on a Mountaineer own goal a minute later, making it 8-1.
Miami finished off the scoring in the 63rd minute off a penalty corner, as Miller drove home a shot off Neira's third assist of the day.
"We spread the field and connected really well," Neira said.
The RedHawks outshot Appalachian State 22-5 and had a 9-2 advantage in penalty corners. Mueller only had to make one save for the RedHawks, and sophomore goalkeeper Christina Heston played the last 10 minutes and did not face a shot.
"The forwards are getting back on the ball and creating really good pressure," Logan said.
Miami returns to MAC play this weekend as the team faces Ball State University noon Saturday. The RedHawks then face the University of Michigan 1 p.m. Sunday.
"We feel like we are stronger than ever and that no one is going to stop us," Neira said.
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