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ODU posted a season-opening shutout for the first time since 1999.
ODU posted a season-opening shutout for the first time since 1999.
ODU Athletics

Field Hockey Blanks Spartans in Season Opener

August 24, 2018
By ODU Athletics

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Erin Huffman and Amie Olton scored goals and the Old Dominion field hockey team posted a 2-0 shutout victory over Michigan State in the season opener on Friday at Ralph Young Field.

The shutout marked the first time Old Dominion (1-0) has shut out an opponent in a season opener since 1999.

"It was a good team performance," said head coach Andrew Griffiths. "The team showed some resilience, some toughness. It was a pretty physical game. We battled through that and we didn't let that take out of what we were doing."

Huffman, the team's leading scorer a season ago, gave ODU the early lead in just the seventh minute of play. The junior knocked in a loose ball in front of goal after a deflection on a corner shot.

The Monarchs carried the 1-0 lead into halftime, outshooting the Spartans, 7-4, in the first half and also holding a 5-2 edge in corners.

In the second half, ODU held Michigan State (0-1) without a shot or corner for over a 15-minute span, before Olton put home a rebound to extend the ODU lead to 2-0. 

The Spartans mounted a series of corners and shots in the waning minutes, but ODU goalkeeper Kealsie Robles, who played the full 70 minutes, and the backline held strong to seal the win.

"Our mentality was stepping in front of every ball and playing really aggressive," said junior back Jess Miller about the team's defensive performance. "We did that with a lot of intensity and I think it worked out for us really well."

Overall, ODU outshot MSU, 11-9, and had a 7-3 advantage in penalty corners.

"They have a good heart, this team," said Griffiths. "I'm really pleased to see that."

ODU has a quick turnaround with Kent State tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET at Ralph Young Field. 

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