By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
The Miami University women's hockey team (2-0) made quite the statement in the opening weekend of its national title defense as it downed Lindenwood University 10-1 and 12-1 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
"It was a good weekend for us," head coach Scott Hicks said. "We kind of started slow in the games, but that's to be expected at this point in the season. As the games went on, we came together and dominated. Depth is pretty big for us. We had scoring from three of our lines and our fourth line had its opportunities. Our first line did fantastic this weekend in terms of scoring and being the most consistent."
Sophomore forward Rachael Booth, freshman forward Carly Noble and junior forward Haley Williams opened up the scoring for the RedHawks in the first period Friday. The RedHawks had a 21-9 shot advantage in the stanza. The scoring continued in the second as sophomore forward Cassidy Guthrie and freshman forward Katie Baldwin found the back of the net to push the lead to 5-0.
The offense for the 'Hawks exploded in the final period as Booth and Williams registered goals, while junior forward Izzy Smith, sophomore forward Katie Augustine and sophomore forward Kaley Mooney scored their first goals of the season.
The Red and White's bid for a shutout on opening night was denied at the 15:13 mark of the third. It was sophomore goalie Emalee Wills' only blemish on the night as she stopped 15 of the 16 shots she faced.
The offensive success continued for Miami the following day as eight different players recorded a goal and 11 tallied at least one point. Mooney buried a goal in the first before a scoring explosion that featured five goals in six minutes. Booth accounted for three, while Williams and Guthrie also put points on the board. The Lynx scored late in the period, but the rest belonged to the RedHawks as they outshot their opponent 23-3 and forced the rival goalie to the bench just after 17 minutes.
The relentless offensive attack continued in the second period as it accounted for four goals in five minutes with Guthrie, Noble, sophomore forward Jordan Hanson and freshman forward Alyssa Visalli scoring. Augustine and Booth put it in the net again in the third as the RedHawks outshot Lindenwood 58-16.
Freshman goaltender Carly VanOrden made her debut for the 'Hawks and did not disappoint, as she stopped 15 of 16 shots.
"It was our first game back and it was really exciting to be out there," Booth said. "With our eight freshman, we were trying to find out our style and we really meshed well and are looking forward to next weekend. Something we need to do is to improve our communication since it's a new team and we need to let each other know what's going on. And with having big leads, it's easy to have bad habits so we have to play every minute like it's the national championship and just get better."
The RedHawks host Midland University this weekend and face off against the Warriors 9:15 p.m. Friday night and 1 p.m. Saturday.