Miami field hockey battled Boston University on Monday September 4, but the Terriers beat the RedHawks 3-1 in a close contest. The game concluded the Miami Invitational which began in Oxford on Friday and welcomed BU as well as the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and Ball State University.
After the weekend, the RedHawks are now 2-2 overall (0-0 Mid-American Conference) and 0-2 at home. The Terriers improve to 4-0 (0-0 Patriot League), 1-0 away and 1-0 at neutral sites.
“I think we can be happy in terms of good hockey, good effort and good attitude,” head coach Inako Puzo said. “They played as a team, they played for each other. We knew it was going to be a very competitive game — both teams knew it was going to be a close game.”
MU outshot BU 15-12, and forced Boston to make five saves while Miami only made two. Boston’s 9-5 penalty corner advantage ultimately decided the contest, as two of the Terrier’s three goals came from penalty corners.
“I think we have to eliminate the simple mistakes we make,” junior back/midfielder Avery Sturm said. “We had a couple goals that were unfortunate, but we did the majority of things well. I think we just have to keep playing the same way.”
Opposing BU and MU red and white shirts mixed in the stands, as fans spent the holiday afternoon at the Labor Day match.
Miami’s junior midfielder Estel Roig took the first shot of the match four minutes into play, though Miami would not take a shot on net for four more minutes. Miami’s offense would go quiet for several minutes — Boston was awarded two penalty corners then took two more shots before Miami tested junior goalkeeper Kathleen Keegan with a shot at 18:39.
The RedHawks’ defense was then tested by the Terriers during the remainder of the half. Boston’s senior midfielder Kali Shumock took two more penalty corners and the team took two more shots.
Though play pushed Miami into their own zone, the RedHawks had more quality chances in Boston’s end.
Miami ended the half outshot 5-4 with no penalty corners awarded, but even on the scoreboard at 0-0.
The second half opened with short, choppy passes by the RedHawks, though they caught a break with their first penalty corner at 39:11. Their first attempt was fruitless but an offensive push led to a penalty stroke being awarded to Miami’s junior midfielder/forward Paula Portugal.
The time on the clock read 45:00 and the scoreboard read 1-0 after Portugal beat Boston’s freshman goalkeeper Millie Baker. The shot energized the RedHawks and their fans.
Boston’s fans would soon match Miami’s decibel, as the Terriers’ Shumock took three penalty corners before sophomore forward/midfielder Hana Sinno evened the score to 1-1 at 51:33.
Miami’s circle became increasingly crowded; the RedHawks’ energy was channeled into warding off Boston’s offense. Traffic through the neutral zone and a lack of possession by the ‘Hawks led to Boston’s second goal at 54:28. Senior forward Grace Boston was assisted by sophomore midfielder Kiley Gallagher.
With 12 minutes remaining in the game and with his team down by one, Puzo called a timeout to refocus his team.
BU outnumbered MU on an offensive rush and the Terriers essentially ended the game with a goal from freshman forward Maya Denison. Junior forward Kara Enoch assisted. At 59:40 the score became 3-1.
“The game was resolved by details […] It was a good game of hockey, it was well played by both teams. It was very physical — a lot of good speed, a lot of good miles on the legs of the players,” Puzo said. “I think the game was much closer than the scoreboard reflected, 3-1. The third goal was a little too much punishment, but you pay for your mistakes and we made a couple mistakes and they took advantage.”
In the remaining ten minutes, Miami fought to even the score and had good looks via six shots and four penalty corners. However, the final score would stay at 3-1.
Miami’s Portugal had the RedHawks’ only goal and took six shots. Junior goalkeeper Maddie Passarella made two saves.
“I think we did a lot of things well, actually. I think our possession was really good today, and we took advantage of possession. We penetrated the circle a lot more than we did with UMass-Lowell, so that’s definitely a plus,” Sturm said. “A lot of the younger players also got a lot of game time and they stepped up and did really well and were able to help the team do good things.”
The RedHawks look to rebound against Ohio State at home on Friday Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.