Miami Cruises through Pool Play, will Play for All the Marbles
The Miami University Women’s Club Hockey team headed to Delaware this weekend with hopes of wrangling a National Championship. Tonight, they sit on the verge of a title. After a thrilling 1-0 victory over Liberty today, the RedHawks will take on UMass in the National Championship game Sunday afternoon.
What a trip has been. Just 3 years ago, Miami’s women’s club team started their program. The first year didn’t see much success, but Head Coach Scott Hicks grew the program from nothing – you couldn’t expect success in year one. Last year, the team played a whole lot better and nearly made the national tournament, garnering their first ever national ranking and making great strides.
But the 2013-14 season has seen unprecedented success. The RedHawks have been the #1 ranked team in the country for the entire season. They entered the CCWHA tournament with the top seed and demolished the competition, allowing just 2 goals across 5 games. Next up: the National Championship tournament.
It has been a great trip so far. According to Head coach Scott Hicks, “the girls have been playing well. As the tournament has gone on our level of play has picked up. Having played Michigan and Michigan State prior this year we knew what we were getting. We didn’t play our best, but against Rhode Island, it was ratcheted up a notch.”
Even through the third game of pool play, Miami kept it together in the face of adversity. They were down to the University of Rhode Island 1-0 for almost 2 periods. “Rhode Island is just a great hockey team. It was a back and forth game and when you play good teams they will cause you to make mistakes,” Coach Hicks said. “The message down 1-0 was all it takes is one shot. Keep plugging away, keep moving our feet and get shots towards the net. We got a lucky bounce to keep a puck alive in the zone and Kaley Mooney buried it.”
One shot indeed. Miami scored just 58 seconds into the third period and held on to the tie to take the top seed in the championship round by way of goal differential against Rhode Island. “The big point of emphasis between the 2nd and 3rd against URI and again against Liberty was not to over coach. The message was keep it simple. Don’t try and do too much, take the simple play they give you and move your feet.”
In the semi-finals, Miami made life extremely difficult for Liberty.
It was a tight game the entire night, but Dana Lovin stood tall in net. Despite a shot that rang off the post with under a minute to go, Miami prevailed 1-0. The Lady RedHawks will now head to their first ever National Championship game, just 3 years after the inception of the program.
Hicks is ready for the challenge Sunday. “We get UMass tomorrow. It’s a battle of the top two teams in the country. We know they are skilled, physical, and have great goaltending. The message is similar, keep it simple, move your feet and make them have to go 200 feet to score.”
Today’s National Championship game starts at 2:00 pm Eastern time. You can catch the game on http://www.fasthockey.com for a nominal fee. Don’t miss it!!