RedHawks Score on Penalty Stroke to Win OT Thriller over Field Hockey Bears, 3-2
SPRINGFIELD - Miami (Ohio)'s Christine Brightwell converted a penalty stroke 1:22 into overtime to give the RedHawks a 3-2 win and snap the field hockey Bears' two-game winning streak.
Brightwell's goal was not a thing of beauty. The senior mishit the stroke, squibbing it off the end of her stick. But MSU keeper Andrea Bain (Victoria, B.C., Canada), who had made 10 saves on the day, dove to her right on the swing and could only helplessly watch from her back as the ball trickled into the left corner of the cage, ending the Bears' (5-12, 2-6) attempt for their first win against the RedHawks (11-6, 6-2) since 2005.
It was a physical game that saw the RedHawks outshoot (19-5), ourcorner (17-2) and even outcard the Bears. Miami was reprimanded with a green card and a yellow card and both teams were whistled for a slew of fouls.
The Bears got on the board early when Hillary Lawless (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) and Kristi O'Connor (So., Fort Worth, Texas) flawlessly executed a two-on-one break in the 28th minute. Lawless dribbled to the center of the circle and then fed O'Connor in the left corner, behind the keeper. O'Connor finished from two yards out to give the Bears a 1-0 lead, which would hold into halftime.
Brightwell's first goal, this one coming much more conventionally, tied it at 1-1 in the 42nd minute. Emily Gruesser's ninth goal of the season made it 2-1 RedHawks seven minutes later.
The Bears responded in the 51st minute when Lawless once again initiated the offense. Much like the game's first goal, the freshman threaded a pass through the defense and past the keeper, where Laura Tavares (Fr., Oakville, Ontario, Canada) easily put away her fourth goal of the season.
That sent the game into overtime, where Brightwell's heroics ended it.
It was the second straight game between the teams at Plaster Field to go into overtime. Miami won a 2-1 decision Oct. 25 of last season, spoiling the Bears' senior day.
The Bears will look to heal from the heartbreak when they welcome Ohio and Kent State to Springfield for their last home stand, and the final two games, of the regular season. The Bobcats are up first with a Friday, Oct. 29, meeting at 1 p.m. Kent State awaits on Sunday, which will be an 11:00 a.m. start.