BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Miami University field hockey team had an early lead against another ranked opponent on Saturday, but a second half goal gave eighth-ranked Penn State a 2-1 victory in a neutral site game in Bloomington, Ind. The RedHawks fall to 5-6 on the season, while the Nittany Lions improve to 6-3.
"We gave maximum effort, and of course we are disapointed about the loss, but we're positive that this will help us in Mid-American Conference play," said senior back Jordan Long. "We've grown so much from this challenging schedule as individuals and as a team. We no longer let a loss affect us. We use it as fuel for the next opportunity to show everyone what Miami field hockey is."
Miami got on the board right away when freshman midfielder Carla Romagosa sent a pass down the field towards junior midfielder Valentina Neira. She tipped it past the final Penn State defender, allowing senior forward Alyssa Logan to get a breakaway. Logan finished her chance to give the RedHawks a quick 1-0 lead 4:47 into the game.
The Red and White had another chance to score in the 12th minute when they earned a penalty corner. Junior back Ali Froede got open for the shot, but Nittany Lion goalkeeper Kylie Licata made a diving save to keep it a one-goal game.
Penn State turned on the offensive pressure during the last 15 minutes of the second half. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller was up to the task, making three saves on Nittany Lion shots. PSU finally broke through with a goal in the 33rd minute to send the game into halftime tied at one.
A penalty corner in the 41st minute was Miami’s best chance to score in the second half. Neira got the ball in deep, but her shot was blocked and went just wide of the net.
A foul on a penalty corner attempt in the resulted in the Nittany Lions being awarded a penalty stroke. Brittany Grzwacz converted on the stroke to give Penn State a 2-1 advantage. Play mostly remained in the midfield during the final 20 minutes as the Nittany Lions were able to hold on for the victory.
Neira and freshman forward Grace Leeker led Miami with two shots apiece. Mueller made seven saves in goal.
"I'm really happy we were able to play Miami field hockey for the full 70 minutes despite the tough team we were playing," said Logan. "We were relentless on offense and defense, and definately made Penn State fight hard for their win."
Miami’s next scheduled game is to be the Mid-American Conference opener at Ohio on Friday. Check with MURedHawks.com for potential updates.