Defense holds strong for field hockey in 1-0 victory against No.22 Maine
Scoring four goals in their win against Delaware Friday, the Central Michigan field hockey team needed little help from its defense.
But they did Saturday, and they got it.
The Chippewas pulled off an upset over No. 22 Maine 1-0 Saturday – their first win against a ranked opponent since defeating then No. 5 Michigan State in 2007.
“I think I was more impressed with our shutout,” head coach Cristy Freese said. “After yesterday’s game, Earl (Marais, CMU assistant coach) was giving me a ribbing, telling me the parents were asking who was in charge of the defense, because Earl knows I’m in charge of the defense.”
After allowing three goals to Delaware Friday – two in the final six minutes of the game – senior goalkeeper Anastasia Netto made three saves against Maine and recorded her third career shutout.
“Anna really took yesterday’s game to heart, in the sense that she knows she could have played a little bit better,” Freese said. “I think she just mentally prepared herself today.”
Freese also praised the team’s defense. One of the many players she pointed out was Skylar VanNatta, who missed a game last weekend, but helped protect the goal on a Black Bears penalty corner late in the game.
“Great team effort,” Freese said. “They stepped up and learned some lessons from yesterday, and put them in the game today.”
Senior Erin Dye scored the lone goal of the game in the 27th minute, the only way she knows how – head first.
Freese talked about Dye’s drive for scoring goals, last weekend, saying “she likes to score goals on her back, more than her feet.”
“There was a mess in the circle, and I dove head first. I couldn’t even see the ball and I didn’t even know it went in until it hit the backboard,” Dye said. “I’m aggressive and hungry in the circle, so I’ll do whatever it takes to score a goal and if that means diving head first, I’ll do it.”
Still early in the season, Maine earned much of their No. 22 ranking for last season’s results. They had their best finish since 1996, finishing with a 16-4 record in 2011.
“We were hoping to go out and make a statement, and I think we were able to go out and do that,” Dye said. “Our team was always told that we had a lot of potential, and we just, sometimes, can’t live up to that.”
CMU finishes out their weekend slate of games against another ranked opponent in No. 11 Stanford Monday at 1 p.m. in East Lansing.
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