OXFORD, Ohio – Keeping up a steady attack throughout the game, the Miami University field hockey team finally broke through with a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes to defeat Central Michigan, 2-0, and win the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship for the second consecutive year on Saturday. The RedHawks earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Junior back Ali Froede was named the MAC Tournament MVP after leading a Miami defense that allowed only one goal the entire tournament. She was joined on the MAC All-Tournament Team by senior forward Alyssa Logan, sophomore midfielder Bea Dechant and freshman midfielder Carla Romagosa.
For the game, the RedHawks outshot the Chippewas, 18-2. CMU did not record its first shot until the 59th minute, one that senior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller was able to easily kick away. Its only other shot came late in the game that went wide.
Despite Miami controlling possession the majority of the contest, Central Michigan played extremely tough defense, not allowing the ‘Hawks many quality scoring chances. Despite getting five penalty corner attempts in the first half, Miami was only able to create six shot attempts during the scoreless period.
The RedHawks were able to get on the board in the 61st minute. On their ninth penalty corner of the game, senior forward Emily Gruesser sent the ball into senior back Sid Marcum. She passed it to Dechant on the right side of the circle, who then made a move to avoid her defender and put the ball into the back of the net to give Miami a 1-0 lead.
Scoring the goal forced the Chippewas to take more chances offensively, and the RedHawks took advantage. Earning another penalty corner in the 66th minute, Froede found Logan deep in the circle. Logan’s eighth goal of the season clinched the tournament championship for the ‘Hawks.
Logan led Miami with five shots, while Gruesser had four. The RedHawks finished with a 10-1 penalty corner advantage.
Miami will learn its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday at 10 p.m. when the selection show airs on NCAA.com. The RedHawks will likely be placed in one of the NCAA Play-In games, which for the first time are considered part of the NCAA Tournament.