Turf burns field hockey in the ‘Show-Me State’
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 01:10
The Miami University field hockey team (6-7, 1-1 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) lost its first MAC game of the season Saturday, falling 3-1 against Missouri State University. The RedHawks won a non-conference game 1-0 Sunday against Saint Louis University.
The RedHawks dominated early play against Missouri State, earning four penalty corners in the first 20 minutes. Miami got on the board in the 20th minute, as sophomore midfielder Chrissy Zessin scored her first goal of the season to make it 1-0. Missouri State answered in the 28th minute off a penalty corner goal from junior forward Hillary Lawless, with an assist from senior back Reiann Stoute.
The score stayed 1-1 until early in the second half, when Bears freshman forward Holly Scherer scored in the 43rd minute. Miami had a great chance to even things up one minute later, but junior goalkeeper Andrea Bain saved sophomore forward Valentina Neira’s shot.
Missouri State made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute on Lawless’ second goal of the game, with Scherer recording the assist. The RedHawks had a few more chances to trim the lead late, but Bear defenders turned away shots from Neira and junior forward Emily Gruesser.
“We weren’t able to finish,” senior midfielder Olivia Miller said. “They were able to capitalize, and that made the difference.”
Miami was outshot 12-9, despite having a 16-6 advantage in penalty corners. Sophomore goalkeeper Christina Heston finished with six saves for the RedHawks, and Bain finished with five for the Bears.
“We lost patience and couldn’t play our game,” freshman midfielder Leni Gross said.
Miami again dominated the game early Sunday but struggled to put goals on the board. The RedHawks recorded nine shots in the first half, but freshman goalkeeper Tori Westhead made six saves to keep Miami off the scoreboard. The Billikens tallied four shots of their own in the opening half, but Heston only had to make one save.
In the 39th minute, Saint Louis illegally blocked a shot from Miller, resulting in a penalty stroke for the RedHawks. Freshman midfielder Bea Dechant converted her third penalty stroke of the season, putting the RedHawks up 1-0.
That would be the only goal Miami needed, as it held Saint Louis without a shot for the entire second half.
“We were patient and played our game as a team,” Gross said.
Miami outshot the Billikens 17-4 and had a 9-1 advantage on penalty corners. Heston only had to make one save, but it was enough to record her first career shutout.
The RedHawks return to Oxford for two home games this weekend. Miami takes on Kent State University in their third MAC contest of the season noon Saturday. The RedHawks then play Indiana University 1 p.m. Sunday in another non-conference game.
“We need to focus on us and get back on track to get ready for next weekend,” Miller said.