Cats claw out win in OT

Vermont Field Hockey snatched an overtime win against Miami (Ohio) University 5-4 on Saturday at Moulton Winder Field in the first game of the inaugural Sheraton Catamount Classic.Vermont started out strong, scoring twice in the first 15 minutes of play, putting pressure on Miami. The Redhawks came back with two goals of their own in the next 10 minutes to tie up the score.With many interceptions and pick offs by Miami, Vermont had the challenge of channeling the Hawks to keep them from scoring.”It’s a patience game,” head coach Nicki Houghton said. “Both teams were playing that way today so we just had to wait until it was the right time to intercept the ball and bring it back up to where we wanted it.”The first goal for Vermont came in the 10th minute when Maegan Luce cleared the ball up to junior Danielle Collins who dodged Miami goalie Megan Stengel and put it in the cage.Collins leads the America East Conference in points scored per game this season. Vermont scored again just five minutes later off a perfectly aimed shot into the far corner of the cage by senior Liz Berry.The Redhawks responded in the 21st minute when forward Alyssa Nye tipped in a centering pass to bring the score to 2-1.Miami scored again less than five minutes later on a penalty corner. Danielle Pemecone shot and scored after Elizabeth Gilroy passed the ball into the circle.Vermont was able to take back the lead just before the end of the first half when Collins scored on an unassisted breakaway giving the Cats a 3-2 lead heading into halftime.Miami picked up the intensity in the second half and tied that score at three on a goal that was scooped past Vermont senior goalkeeper Erin Hickey when she came out of the cage.The Cats retook the lead in the 56th minute off a penalty corner by sophomore Kim Striegler who collected a pass into the center by senior Nikki Desch and junior Kate Lipton.”We really tried to maintain possession this game,” Striegler said. “We’ve been focusing on our corners and I’ve gotten a few perfectly set up ones that [were] very successful today.”Miami’s Jessica reading scored in the closing minutes of the contest to send the game into overtime tied a 4-4.In seven versus seven overtime play Miami came out very strong getting three shots on goal within the first seven minutes.Gilroy received a breakaway pass and was able to beat the Vermont defenseman but Hickey saved the game by coming out of the cage and sliding down to completely block off all shot possibilities.Miami got two more shots off but both times Hickey came out to make the save”I’ve been playing too far back in the cage and when I saw my defense get beat, I took the opportunity to be more aggressive and charge up on the ball,” Hickey said. “The opportunity to be aggressive and rush the ball came; I went for it, knowing that someone would come behind me and clear it if I missed.”The winning goal for Vermont came in the 12th minute of the overtime period courtesy of Striegler, her third goal of the season. The score propelled the Cats to 2-3 on their season while dropping Miami to 2-4 on the season.”We need to keep up the aggression,” Hickey said. “When one person does it, the whole team benefits and we improve together.”The Sheraton Classic continues on Sunday when the Cats face Davidson.