Miami women’s field hockey faced the toughest test of its young season Monday.
The undefeated RedHawks squad played No. 2 Louisville at the Miami Field Hockey Complex at 3 p.m.
Miami lost 4-2 in a shootout, after a tie in regulation and two scoreless overtime periods.
Until Monday, the No. 20 RedHawks were 7-0, with decisive wins against other top 25 teams, like Ohio and Longwood University. The RedHawks remain first in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Monday, the score stayed tied until midway through the second quarter. After five unsuccessful Louisville penalty corners, the Cardinals finally converted.
Sophomore midfielder Emilia Kaczmarczyk broke the tie 21:08 into the game. Senior Cardinal Midfielder Alli Bitting inserted the ball to Megan Schneider, also a senior midfielder. Schneider crossed the ball to Kaczmarczyk, who drove it into the left side of the cage for the score.
Miami tied the game with just under 14 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The RedHawks were awarded a penalty corner after Louisville committed a foot foul inside their scoring circle.
Freshman midfielder Jenna Kirby inserted to freshman striker Claudia Garcia for the ‘Hawks. Garcia's low drive was kicked out by goalie Sam Minrath, but the rebound bounced out to Lexi Nugent.
The senior midfielder made no mistake, knocking the bouncing ball into the Cardinal goal.
Defense prevailed the rest of regulation. Neither team would have another shot before the fourth quarter ended.
After two back-and-forth scoreless overtime periods, the game went to a shootout.
The RedHawks lost the shootout 4-2.
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The star of the game for the RedHawks was goaltender Isabelle Parese. The redshirt-sophomore saved 11 shots, and shut down 7 of Louisville’s 8 penalty corner attempts. The effort was especially impressive coming against an 11th-ranked Cardinal offense that scores 2.69 goals per game.
Miami University President Greg Crawford, who was in attendance at the game, was impressed with the team’s performance.
“Fantastic effort, and a great start to the season,” Crawford said.
The RedHawks remain first in the MAC after the non-conference loss.
This weekend, the RedHawks host another non-conference opponent Bellarmine University for two games. The teams face off Saturday at 1:30 p.m., and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the Miami University Field Hockey Complex.