OXFORD, Ohio – Sooner or later, one has to go in.
That mantra was the theme of the Miami field hockey team’s 2-1 double overtime win over Central Michigan at the Miami Field Hockey Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The RedHawks (9-9, 3-2 Mid-American) outshot the Chippewas (6-11, 3-2 MAC) 27-8, but the game was nearly sent a shootout before Ali Froede ended it with 2:31 left in the second overtime period.
The Red and White held a 6-2 advantage in shots, with four of those attempts on goal, in a scoreless first half. The RedHawks also created five penalty corners while allowing the Chippewas only one attempt from the corner. CMU keeper Sadie Reynolds stopped all four attempts to hold MU off the board.
While CMU only had two shots, both were on goal, forcing Sarah Mueller to make some quality saves. The Chippewas’ first chance came on an Abby Roth penalty stroke in the 16th minute of play. Roth fired a shot to Mueller’s right and she reacted quickly to turn away the uncontested shot. Her other save came on a Bailey McKeon attempt that was set up by CMU’s lone penalty corner of the half.
MU finally got on the board in the 45th minute when Valentina Neira swung a pass to Emily Gruesser down the right side of the attacking circle. Gruesser had a clear path to the net and worked the ball around Reynolds for her sixth goal of the year to put the Red and White on top 1-0.
It took less than six minutes for the Chippewas to respond. In the 51st minute, CMU earned a penalty corner and took full advantage. After the entry pass, the ball eventually was served to Bailey McKeon, who flung a shot that was tipped by Jordyn Brengosz to even the score at one apiece.
CMU’s goal would cap the regulation scoring, even though MU dominated statistically. The RedHawks outshot the Chippewas 11-2 while holding a 6-3 edge in penalty corners during the final regulation period. Despite the heavy shot advantage, regulation would not be enough to decide it.
Miami outshot the Chippewas 6-3 in the first overtime, placing five of those attempts on the cage. Reynolds stood tall for CMU, however, turning aside each of those attempts to force another overtime period.
The second overtime period appeared to be going the way of the first as time and again Miami put together a scoring opportunity only to see it negated by Reynolds’ play in goal or a CMU defensive play. With the final overtime period winding down and penalty strokes an increasingly real possibility, Froede had the game on her stick. After working herself into the circle, Froede launched a shot from the top of the attacking circle that beat Reynolds far side for her ninth goal of the year. That tally put MU into the win column and moved it into a second-place tie in the standings with CMU.
In addition to the 27-8 edge in shots, MU finished up with a 13-6 lead in penalty corners. Bea Dechant led all players with seven shots.
While most of the shots were directed towards Reynolds (17 saves on 19 shots), Mueller did make two strong saves on the three shots CMU put on goal.
The RedHawks conclude their regular season with a non-conference showdown against Providence on Sunday. That contest begins at noon.