By Sadie Martinez, For The Miami Student
Photo by Ben Mikesell
The Miami University women's field hockey team captured its first win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Longwood University. Senior back Ali Froede and senior midfielder/forward Valentina Neira led the RedHawks in their first Mid-American Conference game. They combined for three goals.
Miami (1-6, 1-0 MAC) took an early lead thanks to a goal from Froede less than 11 minutes into the game.
Niera then scored back-to-back goals to give Miami a 3-0 lead over Longwood (2-3, 0-1 MAC). Junior midfielder Bea Dechant earned her second assist of the season as she helped Neira score her second goal.
"We connected really well and used each other a lot," Dechant said. "The forwards were making a lot of movements. We played as a unit, played together, and found each other on the field."
Longwood tallied a goal of its own with less than 10 minutes left, but it was too little too late.
"It was our first MAC game so we knew it was going to be a hard fight," Dechant said. "We had to fight until the last minute. We played relentless. In the last 10 minutes they put on a lot of pressure. Our goalie kept us in the game for sure."
The RedHawks second game of the weekend was Sunday against Indiana University (5-0). Indiana defeated Miami 1-0 thanks to a last minute goal by the Hoosiers.
"They've always been a good rival," senior back Shannon Regan said. "We played smart and intense for 70 minutes. It was good to put a whole game together finally, it was not the result we wanted but still it was a good game."
The RedHawks felt that even though the game against Indiana was a loss on the statistical record, it was still an improvement. As the season progresses, they are seeing improvements and advances in every game.
"We improve from game to game," Dechant said. "Today's game was better than yesterday's. Our attitude was better. We were all in a great mood before the game and we all really wanted the win. This game was probably our A game, it was the best of the season so far."
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Miami's next game is noon Saturday, Sept. 20 in Oxford.