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Miami Field Hockey faces No. 1 UNC

Photo by Ben Mikesell
Photo by Ben Mikesell

By Sadie Martinez, For The Miami Student

The Miami University women's field hockey team plays two non-conference opponents this weekend. The RedHawks (1-6, 1-0 MAC) face Appalachian State University (2-4) from the NorPac conference, and the University of North Carolina (5-0) from the ACC.

Appalachian State is coming off a 3-2 overtime win over Davidson.

"We care about the records but at the same time we know we're playing top ten teams in the nation so we're getting a lot of things from them," said senior midfielder/forward Valentina Neira.

The Tar Heels aren't just on of the best teams in the nation; they're the best right now.

"On Sunday we play the No.1 team in the nation," Neira said. "We are still working on a couple details. We love to play against good teams because that's what makes us better and prepares us for the MAC tournament."

Sophomore midfielder/forward Geagy Pritchard is mentally preparing for this weekend's challenge by taking it one game at a time.

"I mentally get ready by being prepared to work really hard because they are going to be different games, but we'll be successful by working together," Pritchard said. "Teamwork and working really simple are going to be important to us."

It has been 11 years since the Tar Heels and RedHawks have faced each other. In 2003, UNC defeated the RedHawks 10-0.

"We know that it will be a hard game but we try to stay focused on the team objectives and we try to analyze the team and then focus on that," Neira said. "Sometimes we adjust to the team we are playing. We don't play the same way against MAC teams as we do nationally ranked teams."

Pritchard is approaching this weekend like any other weekend, regardless of Miami's competitors.

"Every single game is challenging when we get to it we just need to take one game at a time," Pritchard said. "I treat every team like they're the top team and I work as hard as I can in every game."

Miami faces Appalachian State noon Saturday in Oxford. The RedHawks then hit the road as they play North Carolina noon Sunday in Louisville.