RedHawks sweep weekend matches
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 23:09
The Miami University field hockey team recorded its first two wins of the season this past weekend to improve to a 2-4 on the season.
The RedHawks won their home opener Saturday against the Longwood University Lancers 6-4. Miami fell behind early as freshman forward Jennifer Burris scored two and a half minutes into the game. Longwood would go up 2-0 in the seventh minute as junior midfielder Stacey de Grandhomme scored on a penalty stroke. The Lancers added another goal in the 14th minute to go up 3-0 as freshman forward Nicole Deckard bounced a shot off of junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller.
Miami finally got on the board in the 19th minute as junior midfielder Kaitlin Evans scored off an assist from freshman midfielder Bea Dechant. Sophomore forward Jessica Diaz would answer for the Lancers just under a minute later, putting Longwood up 4-1. Miami added goals in the 22nd and 32nd minutes by sophomore forward Valentina Neira and senior midfielder Olivia Miller, respectively, to pull within one at the half.
The RedHawks opened the scoring in the second half with a goal in the 38th minute from junior forward Emily Gruesser to tie the game up at four. The defenses for both teams tightened up a bit, not allowing either team an offensive advantage until Miami went ahead 5-4 in the 61st minute as junior forward Alyssa Logan gave the RedHawks their first lead of the game.
Gruesser gave the RedHawks an insurance goal in the 64th minute when she closed out the scoring at 6-4.
Miami outshot Longwood 22-15 and Mueller finished with six saves.
“There was not a single point that I didn't believe we were going to win that game, even when we were down 3-0,” Gruesser said.
The RedHawks played their fifth ranked opponent of the season Sunday when they faced No. 23 Ohio State University and broke through for the first time with a 2-1 victory in Columbus. Miami once again fell behind early, as senior forward Berta Queralt put the Buckeyes up 1-0 in the eighth minute. The RedHawk defense, led by Mueller in net, stiffened up at that point and did not allow another goal.
“Our objective was to step up on defense and control the ball,” Gruesser said. “The biggest goal was to play high pressure defense, and it showed.”
The Ohio State defense played strong, but Miami finally got the equalizer in the 32nd minute, as Gruesser scored on an assist from Neira. The score remained tied until the 45th minute. Freshman forward Demi Wideman scored her first career goal off of a rebound from a shot by Dechant.
The Buckeye offense applied more pressure at that point, earning six penalty corners in the final 20 minutes, but Miami turned them all away to hold on for the 2-1 win.
“It was the first time beating [Ohio State] since I’ve been here, and I must say I had tears in my eyes after the game,” Mueller said.
Ohio State outshot Miami 25-11 on the game as Mueller made 10 saves.
“We really proved ourselves this weekend beating a Big Ten team and coming back from a three goal deficit,” Gruesser said. “It really showed our character.”
The RedHawks continue their grueling out-of-conference schedule this weekend when they travel to play No. 6 University of Virginia Saturday and the College of William & Mary Sunday.