Kennan Belau, For The Miami Student

Miami University’s field hockey team fell short against two nationally ranked teams this past weekend in the Sherrill Brakmeier Classic in Louisville, Ky.

Saturday, the RedHawks opened their season against 20th-ranked Northwestern University.

Despite a strong defensive effort, Miami lost to the Wildcats, 3-0. After keeping Northwestern scoreless for the first 31 minutes, Northwestern got a goal from senior forward Chelsea Armstrong giving them a 1-0 lead that the Wildcats took into halftime.

Miami had two penalty corner attempts in the second half, giving the ‘Hawks a good opportunity to even up the score. However, the RedHawks could not capitalize and Northwestern added goals in the 50th and 53rd minutes from junior midfielders Tara Puffenberger and Nikki Parsley, respectively.

The Wildcats outshot Miami 18-5, with senior midfielder Olivia Miller leading the RedHawks with three shots, two of which were on goal.

The Red and White faced off against 23rd-ranked University of Louisville Sunday in the consolation game. Junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller had a career-high 14 saves, including nine in the first half, but it was not enough to hold off the Cardinals as Miami fell 3-1.

Louisville had 10 shots and four penalty corners in the first half, but Mueller only allowed one goal in the 10th minute to junior forward Erin Schneidtmiller.

Just over a minute into the second half, Louisville extended its lead to 2-0 on a goal from sophomore forward Becca Maddock.

The RedHawks scored their first goal of the season off of a penalty corner in the 60th minute. Junior forward Emily Gruesser scored off an assist from junior midfielder Jordan Long.

The Cardinals answered a minute later with a goal from senior forward Haley Jurich to make it 3-1.

Miami was outshot again, this time by a 20-6 margin.

“This season has not started as we would have hoped,” Miller said. “[The team is] striving to be better every day, whether it is practice or a game.”

The RedHawks will take the field next weekend in East Lansing, Mich. for a pair of contests. They team will play 11th-ranked Stanford University 4 p.m. Sept. 1 and will follow that with a game against host Michigan State University 4 p.m. Sept. 2.