OXFORD, Ohio – The defending Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champion Miami University field hockey team has completed its first couple of practices on Wednesday and Thursday. After everyone passed their conditioning tests, head coach Iñako Puzo ran the players through several drills designed to increase their fitness level and improve their defensive skills.

A photo gallery of the RedHawks’ practice can be seen here.

Miami begins the season on Aug. 30 when it travels to Wake Forest for a 7 p.m. game.

What the players are saying about practice beginning:

Ali Froede

“I think practice has gone well for the first couple of days. We’ve put in a lot of hard work. Our overall theme for preseason is ‘intensity’. We’ve brought that both days, and hopefully we can carry that throughout the rest of the preseason and into the regular season.

Jordan Long

“After passing our fitness tests, I think one of the main things we are working on is being competitive within all our drills so we make each other better and in turn will be able to increase our level of intensity on the field.”

Shannon Regan

“The first couple of days of preseason have been hard as expected, but everyone has brought their ‘A’ game. The freshmen especially have stepped up to the plate and now know what college hockey is like. So I think if we keep this going throughout the preseason, we’ll be good.”

Emily Gruesser

“Preseason has started off really well. Everyone passed their tests and has come in fit. The freshmen have shown some really good skills. It’ll get harder, but eventually it will get easier so we’re excited to see how the rest of the preseason goes.”