Miami came up just shy in its attempt to upset No. 2 Duke University in Durham after a valiant effort by the RedHawks’ defense Sunday afternoon. They were able to split their road trip with a 4-1 victory over Davidson on Monday evening.
Duke improves to 12-2 with their 2-0 victory over Miami, while MU remains even 7-7 on the year. The RedHawks remain undefeated in Mid-American Conference play (4-0) after Sunday’s non-conference game.
Going to North Carolina with an upset on their mind, the RedHawks put up an impressive fight. They held the No. 2 team in the nation scoreless at half, and despite two quick goals in the 37th and 42nd minute of play, MU never gave up.
The Blue Devils bombarded the net with 29 shots to Miami’s five, with 17 of those shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Maddie Passarella held the defense together with 15 saves on the day.
“It was a great game against a very good team. Our objective was to work together as a unit and communicate for 70 minutes. We did that,” junior back/midfielder Avery Sturm said. “Duke is a very good team and full credit to them. We worked to keep our structure and compete hard. Have to give credit to Maddie for having an outstanding game.”
Following a hard-fought battle on Sunday, the RedHawks traveled across North Carolina where they carried their momentum and defeated the Wildcats. Their match against Davidson concludes Miami’s road schedule and they finished with a 5-2 record.
MU handled Davidson in terms of penalty corners (11-2) and shots (18-6).
Sturm scored the first goal of the game off of a penalty corner with less than a minute to go in the first half. This was Sturm’s first goal of the season.
The score remained 1-0 until the 58th minute when Davidson tied it up off of a penalty corner. MU answered back three minutes later when junior midfielder/forward Paula Portugal notched her 10th goal of the season off an assist from junior midfielder Estel Roig.
Five minutes later, Portugal scored again for her 11th of the year off of an assist from freshman midfielder Leonor Berlie, who also assisted on Sturm’s goal in the first half. The score was 3-1 in the 67th minute.
Sturm put the Wildcats away for good with her second goal of the game in the 68th minute, making it 4-1. She was assisted by senior midfielder/forward Henni Otten.
“We knew this would be a tough game,” head coach Inako Puzo said. “Davidson’s hockey is not well reflected in their record. They play hard and force you to be relentless for the entire game. I’m happy with the character we showed tonight and with the lessons we take from the weekend. It is important for the team to get used to back-to-back games. If you want to win the MAC Tournament you have to win two games in 24 hours.”
The RedHawks host MAC rival Central Michigan Friday at 5 p.m. followed by non-conference No. 3 University of Virginia on Sunday at 2 p.m. They end their year at home against conference opponent Ball State on Oct. 29 before moving on to MAC conference play.