LOUISVILLE - The Miami University field hockey team dropped its opening game of the season to 20th-ranked Northwestern, 3-0, on Saturday. The game was part first round of the Sherrill Brakmeier Classic.
"Today's game was a good next step for us," said head coach Iñako Puzo. "We have grown together as a team, and the contest today showed that. We are going to approach our next game with the same mindset of developing our game and learning from all of the work we have done over the last nine months. Tomorrow is another opportunity for this team to take the next step in our journey together."
The RedHawks kept the Wildcats off the board for the first 31 minutes of the contest. The Miami defense would prevent Northwestern from getting clean shots off as they recorded several blocks, while junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller made two saves. The Wildcats finally struck in the 32nd minute when All-American Chelsea Armstrong scored from the front of the cage to send the RedHawks into the break down, 1-0. Northwestern outshot Miami, 9-2, during the first half.
The RedHawks had two early penalty corner attempts in the second half to try to even the score. However, Miami was unable to get the equalizer. Northwestern struck again in the 50th minute when Tara Puffenberger found the left corner of the cage from the top of the circle. The Wildcats would get one final insurance goal by Nikki Parsley three minutes later.
For the game, Northwestern outshot Miami, 18-5. The RedHawks had a 5-2 advantage in penalty corners. Olivia Miller led Miami with three shots, including two on goal. Mueller finished with five saves. Bea Dechant recorded a defensive save.
Miami returns to action on Sunday when it takes on 23rd-ranked Louisville in the consolation game of the Sherrill Brakmeier Classic at 11 a.m.