OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University field hockey team recorded a 4-2 victory over a tough Ohio State squad in its home opener on Wednesday. The RedHawks even their record at 4-4 with the win, while the Buckeyes fall to 2-5.
“This is a great win, because we just played against a great team,” said head coach Iñako Puzo. “That requires a lot of energy and discipline from our players. I’m very happy with our effort.”
“I think it is an important victory for us,” added senior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller. “It shows a lot about us. This was showing our character, fighting towards the end and winning our individual battles.”
Miami got on the board less than two minutes into the contest. The RedHawks earned a penalty corner off an Ohio State foul in the circle. Junior midfielder Gabby Goldach took a shot from the top of the circle. Junior back Ali Froede found it at the goal line and tipped it in to give Miami a 1-0 lead.
In the 10th minute, the Buckeyes earned a penalty stroke. Facing off against OSU’s Kaitlyn Wagner, Mueller made a great diving save to retain the lead for the ‘Hawks.
“I love penalty strokes,” said Mueller. “Going into that I had it in my mindset that there was no way she was going to score on this; I am going to do everything I can to save this goal. And I was really happy when I actually did!”
Ohio State kept the ball in its attack zone the majority of the last 15 minutes of the second half. Mueller made five saves to keep the Buckeyes off the board, but OSU finally struck in the 31st minute to send the game into the half tied at one.
Mueller came out of the net to make a good save on a potential wide open net in the 42nd minute. It kept the game tied until the 52nd minute when senior forward Emily Gruesser knocked the ball loose from an Ohio State attacker. Junior midfielder Valentina Neira picked it up and scored on a breakaway to give the RedHawks the lead. Miami made it 3-1 a little over two minutes later when freshman midfielder Carla Romagosa found senior forward Alyssa Logan for a goal on the right side of the net.
Sophomore midfielder Bea Dechant completed the RedHawks scoring the 67th minute when she scored with a difficult reverse chip shot past the hand of the Ohio State goalkeeper. The Buckeyes answered a minute later off a penalty corner to make it 4-2, but Miami was able to run the clock out for the victory.
“We lost the momentum in the first half after our goal,” said Puzo. “At halftime we had a talk telling them that it isn’t about x’s and o’s, it’s about character and attitude. We began winning the small battles on the field, the 50-50 balls. In the second half the team stepped up with great character and great attitude. Ohio State was still playing great hockey, it is just Miami was ready to answer.”
The RedHawks held a 14-13 shot advantage. The penalty corners were even at 7-7. Neira and Froede led Miami with three shots each, while Mueller made six saves in goal.
The RedHawks return to action next Tuesday when they host UC Davis at 5:30 p.m.