Drew McDonell, Staff Writer

Christine Brightwell aims for the net in Miami’s game against CAL on Aug. 27. (MICHAEL GRIGGS | The Miami Student)

The Miami University field hockey team opened their season with a bang as they defeated the University of California (CAL) Golden Bears 4-3 and dominated the University of the Pacific Tigers 8-0 in Berkeley, Calif.

In the match against the Golden Bears Aug. 27, Miami was losing by two goals, but the girls rose to the challenge and were victorious. Head Coach Jill Reeve was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I was really proud of our team for their resilience coming back from two goals down,” Reeve said. “They really played beautifully right from the pass back. CAL is a tough team and challenged us at every turn, but we responded and finished.”

The RedHawks were the first to strike against the Golden Bears when freshman Kelsey Lund scored the first goal of the season seven minutes into the match. The game then started to take a turn for the worse when the Tigers struck back and scored three goals, leaving the score at 1-3 early in the second period.

The ‘Hawks refused to give up, and the girls came back after halftime ready to reclaim the game. Four minutes into the second period, junior Jackie Nguyen scored the ‘Hawks’ second goal. During minute 46 of the game, Nguyen snuck another goal past CAL’s keeper, leveling the game 3-3.

The team clenched the win in the final seven minutes of the game. Senior Christine Brightwell sunk her shot into the net with the assistance of junior Amanda Seely and senior Kate Snyder.

Although Reeve is excited about the first win of the season, she realizes the team still needs to work on certain elements.

“It was encouraging to see the team pull together when the pressure was on,” Reeve said. “We have a lot of speed as a unit, but we need to improve our timing with one another and communicate more effectively.”

The girls took on the Pacific Tigers Aug. 29. Within the first two minutes, senior Mary Hull was at full force, lodging the ball into the net and capturing the team’s first goal. The RedHawks continued to drill the Tigers as Nguyen and Snyder each added another point to the scoreboard.

The second period proved to be more successful than the first, with junior Brittany Branco scoring in the first two minutes. Hull, Nguyen and Brightwell each sunk another goal.

Snyder scored the last goal in the 63rd minute and the final score was 8-0.

The RedHawks’ defense held strong the entire match, only allowing four shots on goal. Snyder found each teammate to be an asset to the team during the match.

“Every player on our team has natural speed and power, but also brings their individual personality to the field, which makes us extremely dangerous no matter who the competition might be,” Snyder said. “If our team continues to grow as a unit, I truly believe there is no stopping us.”