Red and White hope to clinch share of regular season MAC title
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 21:10
The Miami University field hockey team (9-9, 3-1 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) will play for a share of the MAC regular season title and the top seed in the MAC Tournament Saturday against rival Ohio University (OU) (8-7, 2-2 MAC).
The 10:30 a.m. game is also senior day for the RedHawks, who will honor senior midfielder Olivia Miller and senior back Addie Absher postgame. Absher has not appeared in a game the past two seasons due to injury.
“Senior day is important to me because it makes everything surreal,” Miller said. “It reminds me it’s coming to an end and that I need to leave everything on the field.”
The RedHawks are tied with Kent State University and Central Michigan University for first place in the MAC. The Golden Flashes and Chippewas play 1 p.m. Saturday.
Miami has head to head wins over both schools, and will clinch the top seed in the MAC Tournament with a win. The RedHawks would also be guaranteed a share of the regular season conference title with a win.
“Winning the game against OU is very important,” Miller said. “It will make a statement not only to the other MAC teams but also to ourselves that we are capable of taking the MAC Championship.”
If Miami loses to Ohio, it would create a three-way tie for second place between the RedHawks, Bobcats and the Kent State/Central Michigan loser. In this scenario, Miami would get the third seed in the tournament based on overall winning percentage, as all three teams would be 1-1 against each other, eliminating the head-to-head tiebreaker. The MAC Tournament will take place Nov. 2-3 in Oxford.
“I think winning against Ohio is big this weekend,” junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller said. “We want to get what we deserve for all the hard work this season.”
Senior forward Taylor Brown leads the Bobcats with 11 goals on the season, and junior forward Luli Gomez Teruel is second on the team with seven goals. Miller, freshman midfielder Bea Dechant and junior forward Emily Gruesser are tied for the Miami lead in goals with seven on the season.
Ohio is outscoring its opponents 2.47-1.47 and is outshooting them 15.3-11.1. By comparison, the RedHawks are outscoring their opponents 2.61-2.06 despite being outshot 13.5-13.6. Sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Walker has started all 15 games for the Bobcats and has a 1.71 goals against average and a .747 save percentage. Mueller, who was named MAC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season, has started 14 games on the season for Miami with a 2.24 goals against average and a .774 save percentage.
“We have built confidence all season long, and now we are ready,” Mueller said. “We have to win one game at a time from here on.”