Watch Head Coach Jill Reeve Post Game Interview Story Courtesy of Miami Media Relations
MUNCIE, Ind. - In its fifth overtime victory of the season, the No. 3 seed Miami field hockey team downed rival and No. 2 seed Kent State today at Ball State 2-1. The RedHawks advance to the championship match for the first time since 2007, where they will face off against No. 1 seed Ohio.
The first half appeared to be a replay of last weekend's match against the Golden Flashes as Miami was held to only three shots. Kent State was 0-for-5 on penalty corners in the opening half, and recorded two saves in goal. Miami's Kelsey Dean was also strong in goal recording three saves. Yet the RedHawks were clearly in control throughout the first half, spending most of the period of the attack.
Kent State broke through at 40:27 when leading-scorer Debbie Bell found the net off a pass on a fast break from Laurie Wilkins. The RedHawks returned to the offensive immediately, responding at 44:48 when Rachael Walz scored with the assist by Mary Hull. This was Walz's third goal of the tournament and Hull's second assist. Miami would nearly take the lead with 5:58 remaining in regulation when a close shot by Christine Brightwell just missed, hitting the post. The end of the second period found the two tied at one, sending the game into Miami's fifth overtime of the season.
Having never lost a match in overtime in 2009, the RedHawks came out determined to keep their perfect streak. After a close call by Bell for the Golden Flashes, Miami returned to keeping Kent State on the defensive. Only 3:19 into the overtime period Amanda Seeley scored the game-winner for Miami off a deflection by goalie Caroline Suitch. This was Seeley's first game-winning goal of the season.
Miami now advances to the championship game against the Bobcats starting tomorrow at Ball State at 1 p.m. This is Miami's second trip to the championship in three years, though the RedHawks have yet to win a title.