Field Hockey opens MAC play
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 21:09
The Miami University field hockey team (2-6) opens Mid-American Conference (MAC) play 2 p.m. Friday in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. against Central Michigan University (CMU) (3-4).
The RedHawks and Chippewas have both lost to the University of Louisville and Stanford University, although CMU’s games were an average of 1.5 goals closer.
The RedHawks return home for two more non-conference games to close out the weekend. Miami will take on Georgetown University 11 a.m. Sunday. The Hoyas face Louisville Friday before traveling to Oxford.
The RedHawks then face the Saint Francis University Red Flash (5-3) 2 p.m. Monday. The ’Hawks’ and Red Flash’s lone common opponent this season was Longwood University, who both teams beat.
Miami is looking to build on its tough non-conference schedule but are not taking the MAC lightly.
“We’ve played some tough teams, but the teams in the MAC are just as tough,” junior midfielder Jordan Long said.
Central Michigan tends to be a defense-oriented club, only allowing on average two goals per game. Meanwhile, the Chippewas are averaging 1.86 goals per game. By comparison, Miami is scoring 1.38 and allowing 2.88 goals per game.
Central Michigan has scored eight of their 13 goals this season in the first half of play, which could pose a problem for the ’Hawks.
“Our biggest problem is that teams will throw something at us and we aren’t able to adjust until it's too late,” senior midfielder Olivia Miller said.
Central Michigan has two players with four goals this season to lead the team: senior midfielder Erin Dye and junior forward Bailey McKeon. Senior goalkeeper Anastasia Netto has started all seven games for the Chippewas and has a 1.87 goals against average and a .696 save percentage.
Junior forward Emily Gruesser leads the Red and White with five goals. Miami junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller has a 2.88 goals against average and a .747 save percentage.
Georgetown has faced offensive struggles similar to the RedHawks. The Hoyas are only averaging 1.62 goals per game while allowing 3.62 goals per game. They are also being outshot 16.6 to 9.5 shots per game, while Miami is being outshot 17.8 to 9.5 shots per game.
Senior midfielder Kimberly Keating and senior forward Catherine Shugrue lead the Hoya offense. Each has three goals on the season. Senior Briana Pereira has played all but 35 minutes in goal this season for Georgetown and has a 4.11 goals against average and a .642 save percentage.
Saint Francis has put up good numbers this season but has not played the level of competition the RedHawks have. The Red Flash is scoring 2.75 goals per game and is only allowing 1.5 goals per game and is outshooting its opponents 14.5 to 11.1.
Sophomore forward Autumn Pellman leads Saint Francis with seven goals on the season and sophomore forward Carissa Makea has five. Senior goalkeeper Kate Vitali has a 1.91 goals against average and a .760 save percentage.