The Miami University field hockey team fell 2-1 against the Ohio University Bobcats in a close overtime match Sept 25. The team then headed to Kent State University Sept. 26, where they defeated the Golden Flashes.
The Bobcats, known as one of Miami’s greatest rivals, knocked the RedHawks out of the MAC championships the past two years. The history led to a close and intense game, and the RedHawks fought until the finish with a vengeance.
Head Coach Jill Reeve hoped to use the strong rivalry as an advantage for the RedHawks’ game play.
“There was no lack of desire to beat Ohio, that was for sure,” Reeve said. “The goal was to approach the Ohio match using the emotion that was inherently present and directing it in a positive way.”
Both teams held their guard during the first half, playing a strong defense. The teams were equally matched offensively — the RedHawks made four shots on goal, while the Bobcats had three. The game remained scoreless at the end of the first period.
The two teams came out strong for the second period. Miami and Ohio remained solid defensively, allowing few shots on goal. In the last four minutes of the match, sophomore Olivia Miller was able to penetrate Ohio’s tough defense, scoring a point for the RedHawks. Ohio returned the favor, scoring on Miami within a minute, putting the game into overtime.
Seven minutes into overtime, Ohio scored the final point of the match, clenching the 2-1 win.
Reeve continued to credit the lack of teamwork to the defeat.
“We can’t play game unless we are playing hard and playing together,” Reeve said.
The RedHawks faced another overtime match when they took on the Golden Flashes in Kent, Ohio. Kent State did not waste any time, as they scored two goals within the first 16 minutes. Miller fired back, putting Miami on the board and leaving the game at 2-1 at the end of the first period.
During the second period, Miller scored again with an assist from senior Kate Snyder, leveling the game. Senior Mary Hull scored shortly after, taking the lead for Miami. The RedHawks did not hold the lead for long, as Kent State sunk another goal into the net, tying the score and leading the match into overtime.
Three minutes into overtime the RedHawks prevailed when freshman Emily Gruesser scored the game winning shot with an assist from junior Amanda Seeley, advancing the team to a 6-3 season.
“These games were such huge rivals,” Gruesser said. “They were both very aggressive games. For me, it made it more exciting because we have an extremely tough team.”
After a small string of losses, the team is slowly trying to gain the momentum they once had at the beginning of the season.
“We took a step back and the team is eager to step forward aggressively and get back on track with the ultimate goal of becoming a great team,” Reeve said.
The RedHawks will be back in action as they head to Muncie, Ind. to take on Ball State University Oct. 1.