COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A great second half effort allowed the Miami University field hockey team to overcame a two-goal deficit and defeat 20th-ranked American,3-2, to open the Terp Invitational on Saturday. The RedHawks improve to 3-3 on the season, while the Eagles fall to 3-2.
"Believe you can and you are halfway there,” said senior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller. “I think that represents how we played today. We played with heart, we won our individual battles and most importantly we played Miami Field Hockey. We showed that we can rely on each other and that we don't give up no matter the circumstances or the scoreboard. Today our hard work, especially in the second half, paid off and turned the game around. I am proud to be part of this team and keep moving in the right direction.
American’s Kati Rothenhoefer converted on a penalty stroke in the third minute to put the Eagles up, 1-0, early. Junior forward Valentina Neira had a great chance in the eighth minute, but American’s goalkeeper Ashley Dalisera made a diving save. The Eagles made it 2-0 in the 18th minute when they converted on a penalty corner. They received a couple of penalty corners late in the period, but Mueller stood tall to keep it a two-goal game going into half.
American outshot Miami, 10-2, and had a 3-1 advantage in penalty corners in the first half.
The RedHawks came out with a renewed sense of purpose to begin the second half. A pair of shots by Neira and senior forward Alyssa Logan were stopped, but Miami earned a penalty corner after the ball found an Eagle player’s foot. On the corner, Neira found sophomore midfielder Bea Dechant, who put it in the back of the net to make it 2-1 only a minute and a half into the period.
Miami kept the pressure on American with two shots by senior midfield Emily Gruesser as well as shots from senior back Sid Marcum and Dechant. In the 57th minute, the RedHawks earned back-to-back penalty corners. On the second one, junior back Ali Froede took the pass junior midfielder Gabby Goldach and rocketed it past Dalisera to tie the score at two.
Less than three minutes later Miami pushed the ball back into its attacking zone. Freshman midfielder Colby Hussong sent a pass to Logan along the far post. Logan tipped it in for the go-ahead goal. American earned three penalty corners over the next 11 minutes, but Mueller came up with three huge saves and the RedHawks were able to run out the clock and take down the 20th-ranked team in the country.
"We started out slow, but as a team we held each other accountable and got the job done," said Logan. "I'm proud that we were able to turn it around and show our true character in the second half."
Miami outshot the Eagles, 9-5, in the second half and had a 5-4 advantage in penalty corners. Logan, Gruesser, Dechant and Neira each had two shots for the RedHawks, while Mueller finished with eight saves.
The Terp Invitational concludes on Sunday when the RedHawks take on the host, second-ranked Maryland at 2 p.m.