RedHawks earn share of MAC title
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 02:10
The Miami University field hockey team (10-9, 4-1 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) earned a share of the MAC regular season title for the second time in three years by defeating Ohio University (OU) 3-1 Saturday.
“We were all just overwhelmed by emotions,” junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller said. “It was such a great feeling to win the MAC regular season championship on our home field.”
Saturday was also senior day for the RedHawks, who honored senior midfielder Olivia Miller and senior back Addie Absher.
“It was great to have a win on Senior Day,” Miller said. “Addie and I both are very grateful for what Miami athletics and the field hockey program have done.”
The Bobcats had the majority of the chances early in the game, getting two good shots on goal before earning a penalty corner in the 10th minute. Off of the corner, senior back Laura Mastro scored off an assist from senior forward Cathryn Altdoerffer to put Ohio up 1-0.
“We knew what was out there for us, and we played nervous,” Mueller said.
The RedHawks earned their first penalty corner in the 13th minute, but sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Walker was able to save shots by Miller and sophomore midfielder Ali Froede. In the 23rd minute, Miami capitalized on another penalty corner attempt as freshman midfielder Leni Gross found Froede in front of the net for the equalizer.
The RedHawks took control early in the second half, with junior forwards Alyssa Logan and Emily Gruesser recording shots on goal, but Walker saved both. Miami took a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute when Miller scored off a pass from freshman midfielder Bea Dechant. The Bobcats got more aggressive offensively looking to tie the game up, allowing the RedHawks to capitalize in the 62nd minute. Gruesser stole a pass and found sophomore forward Valentina Neira on a breakaway for the 3-1 lead. Miami held on to clinch the win and the MAC Title.
“We trusted in each of our teammates, in the coaches and we all could rely on each other,” Mueller said.
The RedHawks outshot the Bobcats 12-9 and held a 6-2 advantage in penalty corners. Mueller only made three saves for Miami as the defense held strong after the first goal.
Miami will be the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament due to its win over co-champion Kent State University Oct. 6. The tournament begins noon Friday in Oxford as Miami takes on fourth seeded Ohio in a rematch of Saturday’s game.
“There are pros and cons of having to play OU two weeks in a row, but I think more good can come from playing them again,” Miller said. “We have a better idea of what we want to do to make things happen.”
Kent State and third seeded Central Michigan University play 2:30 p.m. Friday, also a rematch from Saturday. The MAC Championship game will be 1 p.m. Saturday.
The MAC Tournament winner will play the winner of the NorPAC Tournament Tuesday for an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament.
“As happy as we are right now, we want more,” Mueller said. “We want to win the championship at home and know we can.”