Miami field hockey came up big this weekend with two much-needed conference wins against Appalachian State University 6-2 and cross-state rival Ohio University 3-0. MU is now 4-4 overall (2-0 Mid-American Conference) after the successful weekend.
The RedHawks traveled to Athens, OH to dominate the Bobcats 3-0. MU out shot OU overall 14-3, shots on goal 7-1 and 6-5 penalty corners.
“It is always difficult to come to Athens and leave with a victory,” head coach Iñako Puzo said. “I am proud for the hard work of our players. They played with intensity and discipline.”
Miami’s first goal came in the 23rd minute by junior midfielder/forward Paula Portugal. This was Portugal’s fifth goal of the season, and she would go on to assist on the RedHawks other two goals as well.
As time wound down in the first half, freshman forward/midfielder Lexie Nugent scored her third goal of the season, putting MU up 2-0 entering halftime.
Freshman midfielder Neely Lochmoeller notched her first goal at the collegiate level in the 55th minute, giving the RedHawks a commanding 3-0 lead with fifteen minutes remaining. They would go on to maintain their lead the rest of the game, securing Miami’s first win in MAC play (1-0).
“Today was a typical MAC contest between two teams that were going to fight for a win,” junior back/midfielder Avery Sturm said. “We were focused on keeping up the intensity for 70 minutes, fight for every ball and do the simple things well.”
MU then traveled from Athens, OH to Boone, NC in a quick turnaround for the RedHawks. The team showed no sign of fatigue as they scored quickly in the 4th minute of play from a goal by sophomore back Kirsten McNeil.
Sophomore midfielder Lexi Silver added to Miami’s lead in the 15th minute of play which put MU up 20. This was Silver’s third goal of the season.
The Mountaineers got on the board ten minutes later in the 26th minute to make the score 2-1 in favor of MU. The RedHawks responded immediately with a goal three minutes later by Portugal. Freshman midfielder Leonor Berlie assisted in scoring the first three goals for Miami.
ASU cut the lead to 3-2 early on in the second half, but that goal would be the last of the day for the Mountaineers.
Sophomore forward Kenzie Peterson scored her first goal of the season in the 56th minute of play putting MU up 4-2 with fifteen minutes to go in the game.
Nugent scored her second goal of the weekend in the 67th minute on an assist from Portugal who also assisted on Peterson’s goal ten minutes earlier. Portugal scored her second goal of the game and third of the weekend with a breakaway goal in the 68th minute which secured the RedHawks’ commanding victory.
The RedHawks hope to build on this past weekend when they welcome Michigan State University to Oxford on Friday at 3:00 p.m. They then travel to a neutral-site game against Wake Forest University at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. MSU is 4-5 on the season and Wake Forest is 4-3.