OXFORD, Ohio -In the midst of a short break from Mid-American Conference play, the Miami University field hockey team has only one game this weekend. On Friday, the RedHawks will welcome Appalachian State to the Field Hockey Turf Complex. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. and it will be broadcast live on Miami All-Access.
The RedHawks (7-8 overall, 2-1 in the MAC) are coming off a split weekend that featured a key MAC victory. Miami defeated Kent State, 4-1, on Saturday before falling, 1-0, in non-conference action to Indiana on Sunday. Valentina Neira scored two goals for the RedHawks in their win against the Golden Flashes, while Sarah Mueller made 12 saves in the two contests and was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
While Miami doesn't have any conference games this week, there will be a pair of MAC games played on Saturday. Missouri State visits Ohio, while Ball State travels to Kent State. Like the RedHawks, Central Michigan will play only non-conference games this weekend. The race to qualify for the MAC Tournament is extremely close as Miami, Missouri State and CMU are tied for the division lead at 2-1. Kent State and Ohio are right behind at 1-1. Ball State is currently 0-3. Only the top four teams will make the tournament, which the RedHawks will host, Nov. 2-3.
Appalachian State is 2-10 this season and 0-4 in the Northern Pacific Field Hockey Conference. The Mountaineers have dropped their last seven matches and have played a difficult schedule this season. In its last game Appalachian State fell to conference foe Longwood, 5-4, this past Sunday. The Mountaineers are led by senior Casey Lammando. She has five goals and four assists for 14 points on the season.
"I think it's going to be an interesting match," said head coach Iñako Puzo. "From watching their videos I can tell that it's a team that tries to play very nice hockey and has a very good structure. You can see they are well coached but for some reason they haven't gotten too many positive scores this season. They will come here for a win and you have to respect that team and be at your best."
Miami will return to MAC play next weekend when it travels to Ball State on Saturday, Oct. 20 for a noon match. The RedHawks will then head to Ann Arbor to face 16th-ranked Michigan on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.