OXFORD, Ohio - Sarah Mueller came up big in goal with eight saves, including several late as the Miami University field hockey team defeated Kent State, 2-1, Saturday afternoon to earn the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship. It is the first tournament championship in school history. The RedHawks improve to 12-9 on the season, while the Golden Flashes finish the season at 9-13.
As MAC Tournament Champion, Miami will now advance to
take on Stanford, which defeated Liberty 3-0 for the NorPac Tournament title on
Saturday, for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NorPac champion has
the right to host the match, but the Cardinal have agreed to play it at
Longwood University in Farmville, Va., where they just concluded the NorPac
Tournament. The game will take place on Tuesday at a 1 p.m.
Miami had the first good scoring chance of the game in the fourth minute. Leni Gross had a shot that beat the Golden Flashes' goalkeeper, but Abbie Carrico was in position to make a save. About three minutes later Hannah Faulkner took a shot that Mueller saved, but the rebound came right back to her. Faulkner then put the rebound in to give Kent State a 1-0 lead.
It remained that way until the 31st minute when the RedHawks were able to even the score. Gross took the ball into the center of the circle and sent a pass to Olivia Miller in the right corner. Miller one-timed the shot into the net to send the game into the break tied at one.
Kent State earned a pair of penalty corners in the first seven minutes of the second half. Each time it was able to get off a good scoring attempt, but Mueller made a couple of saves to keep the game tied. In the 44th minute the RedHawks received a penalty corner of their own. Emily Gruesser sent a pass into Froede. Froede then found Dechant who plugged it in to give Miami a 2-1 lead.
The Golden Flashes became the aggressors as they looked for the tying goal. In the 54th minute Julia Hofmann took a one-timer on a penalty corner, but Mueller was able to block it away. Hofmann would break free on another penalty corner in the 65th minute, but this time Mueller came out of net and kicked it out of the circle to end the threat. Mueller made four saves over the final 25 minutes to secure the championship for Miami.
Kent State outshot the 'Hawks, 18-12, for the game. Miller led Miami with six shots. The Golden Flashes had a 6-5 advantage in penalty corners with all six coming in the second half.
2012 MAC Field Hockey Tournament Most Valuable Player
Bea Dechant, Miami
2012 MAC Field Hockey All-Tournament Team
Jordyn Brengosz, Central Michigan
Simone Lazar, Central Michigan
Sabrina Binder, Kent State
Rebecca Lee, Kent State
Alayna Harris, Kent State
Bea Dechant, Miami
Jordan Long, Miami
Sarah Mueller, Miami
Ali Froede, Miami
Taylor Brown, Ohio
Cathryn Altdoerffer, Ohio