Miami field hockey won its fourth game in a row when it beat Indiana University 5-0 on Sunday afternoon. The win capped a two-win weekend after a Friday 3-0 victory against Mid-American Conference opponent Kent State.
The defense allowing only two shots and one penalty corner, the midfield controlling possession for the majority of the game and the offense scoring off 60 percent of its shots combined for a dominating Miami (7-4, 2-0 MAC) performance.
Senior midfielder Paula Portugal led Miami past Indiana (2-7, 0-2 Big Ten), scoring a hat trick. Portugal’s three goals put her second on Miami’s all-time point list (145) and tied for third in goals (61).
“I think we can be very happy with the weekend,” head coach Iñako Puzo said. “I think we played very well both games.”
Miami’s first goal came in the 18th minute when Portugal took the ball through traffic and set herself up for an easy shot. Portugal’s 10th goal of the season was unassisted.
Nine minutes after Portugal’s first goal, sophomore midfielder Leonor Berlie scored a goal of her own off a great finish. Berlie hit a rolling rebound past the Hoosiers sophomore goalkeeper Sachi Ananias to make it 2-0.
Indiana’s only big opportunity of the half came in the 32nd minute when it was granted a penalty stroke. Senior goalkeeper Maddie Passarella came up with the save to hold the shutout.
The RedHawks couldn’t escape harm in the waning minutes of the first half.
With a minute left, Miami was awarded a penalty corner, but it resulted in a fast break the other way. Senior back Kendall Hunker hustled to make the defensive play, taking the ball away from an Indiana forward to close out the half.
“I think that we lost a little bit of our discipline in the last five minutes of the first half and that scared me,” Puzo said.
Nevertheless, the RedHawks went into the locker room with the 2-0 lead, ultimately outshooting the Hoosiers 4-1.
In the second half, Miami coasted past Indiana. The Hoosiers struggled with ball possession, only generating 10 offensive chances with one scoring opportunity.
After sophomore midfielder Morgan Sturm passed to the middle of the circle in the 45th minute, junior forward Kenzie Peterson put one home. Peterson’s goal was her second of the season and put the ’Hawks up 3-0.
Indiana attempted to energize its team with fresh goalkeeper redshirt freshman Shelby Querry.
But, Portugal continued the RedHawks’ dominant play and scored another unassisted goal in the 52nd minute after a penalty corner. Querry stood no chance against the laser to the upper right corner.
And, Portugal wasn’t done.
The senior completed the hat trick with 10 seconds left in the game. Her 13th goal of the season came from Berlie and completed the 5-0 blowout.
“I think today we played with a lot of heart and everyone came out of the gates really quick,” Peterson said. “We communicated really well and worked together as a team really well today.”
The only dark mark on the weekend was Miami’s struggle with its penalty corners – part of the reason the RedHawks had half as many shots as its Kent State game.
“We probably had more circle penetrations than we had against Kent State […] but we were not taking shots,” Puzo said.
Ignoring the average play from penalty corners, Miami dominated Indiana. The ’Hawks outshot the Hoosiers 8-2.
“We worked really hard to drop back on the ball quickly and get under it so they couldn’t pressure fast,” Sturm said.
Miami begins a five-game road trip with MAC-opponent Central Michigan on Friday at 4 p.m. The RedHawks are next home on Oct. 20 at noon against Appalachian State University.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/7bCIgTtsnaM” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>