Alyssa Zediker, Staff Writer

The Miami University field hockey team started its season off by falling to Wake Forest University, but defeated Radford University and Longwood University.

“They were three very competitive games, and we knew that it was going to be tough, but we handled them very well as we were ready for each contest,” Head coach Inako Puzo said.

The ‘Hawks season opening game was against 18th ranked Wake Forest, where the RedHawks lost 3-2. The Demon Deacons scored with just over five minutes remaining in the game to give Wake the win.

Puzo said he does not feel the score reflects the intensity and fight that went into the game, where Miami was able to possess the lead twice.

“We were not happy with the scoreboard because we were there with the intention to win, but I believe that our team did a great job in the game putting a team like Wake Forest against the wall,” Puzo said.

Senior midfielder Jordna Long agreed with her coach.

“We were all working together, and there was not one person on the field or on the bench that was not on the same page,” Long said. “And eventually the scoreboard will follow.”

Miami faced Radford in the second game of its three game road stand, where the ‘Hawks out shot the Highlanders 26-1. The RedHawks won the game 6-1, with five different players scoring for Miami.

The RedHawks picked up a win in the final game, defeating the Longwood Lancers. Miami put up three first-half goals to take the win 4-1 in the end. Senior back Sid Marcum said she felt this game showed that each player for the RedHawks could play their own role and was pleased with the performance.

“We did play three games this weekend and now we are all absolutely exhausted, but [the Longwood game] was a true test of our team’s character to be able to come out and play 70 hard minutes and come out on top with the win,” Marcum said.

Puzo said he was pleased with what he saw from his team.

“We are sure now about what we have as a team, and what we have is a great group of people working very hard for each other and supporting each other, and we learned that if everyone brings their A-game then we can compete and challenge anyone,” Puzo said.

The RedHawks will spend the week preparing to face two top twenty ranked teams in Evanston, Ill., where they will take on 16th-ranked Boston University and the host team, 11th-ranked Northwestern University.

“This season we are coming with huge targets on our back, but I think that we gained respect nationwide from the Wake Forest game that we can handle any level of competition and that we are a force to be reckoned with,” Marcum said.

Long said the team’s mentality of playing top ranked schools in order to play to the best of their abilities was instilled in them by Puzo.

“If we don’t push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves, we will not be the best that we can be,” Long said. “[Playing top ranked teams] is definitely a great experience, but we also come away learning a lot about who we are as a team.”