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Field hockey advances to conference championship

Brittany Lucia
Kent State Women’s Field Hockey vs. Ohio University at Murphy-Mellis Field on Sept. 22, 2023.

On the season, Kent State’s field hockey team was 0-3 in overtime games. 

Friday, the Flashes earned their first win in extra time, defeating Appalachian State in overtime 3-2 in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

“Today’s win means a lot for our team,” coach Kyle DeSandes-Moyer said. “We were really looking forward to this game, given the way we lost to them in the regular season.

The Mountaineers came into the game as the top seed in the conference and previously beat KSU 2-1 in a shootout on Oct. 6.

In their last ten matchups since 2017, Kent State is 8-2 against the Mountaineers.

Appalachian State started this game out fast, getting off five shots and three corners, but junior goalkeeper Cecile van Eijck recorded three saves. 

At the end of the first quarter, the score was 0-0.

Kent State came out in the second quarter, finding themselves going up 2-0 with goals by senior back Alex Sacker and sophomore forward Patricia Strunk. 

After being outshot in the first quarter 7-0, the Flashes outshot ASU 4-2.

At the start of the third quarter, the Mountaineers recorded three penalty corners within the first three minutes. 

Sophomore back Iris Bekker would make her fourth defensive save of the game to keep the Mountaineers off the board. 

Appalachian State would convert on a goal after earning a penalty stroke to make the score 2-1; during the third quarter, KSU was outshot 9-1.

In the final minutes of regulation, Appalachian State battled back and tied it up at 2-2 after converting on a penalty corner with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. 

Both teams would head into overtime with Kent State leading in corners (4-2) and tied in shots on goal in the quarter (1-1). 

With time winding down in overtime, sophomore forward Emma Rolston came through in the clutch, scoring a goal in the seventh minute for a winning score of 3-2.

This was Rolston’s fourth goal of the season.

“Everything that we’ve gone through this season, and just sticking together,” she said. “We just wanted to prove ourselves.”  

As a team, KSU would lead just in saves (9-4). 

Appalachian State led in penalty corners (15-5) and in shots (21-11). 

Kent State had seven of their shots on goal, with App State having 11 shots on goal. 

The Flashes will now face off against Miami of Ohio in the MAC Championship Saturday at 2 p.m.

KSU defeated MU 2-1 on Oct. 8.

Since 2012, either the RedHawks or Flashes have won the tournament – Miami has won six consecutive tournament titles.

All-time KSU is 12-13 against Miami and has won two of three previous meetings.

Kyle Kuchta is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kyle Kuchta, Reporter
Kyle is a senior majoring in journalism and communications. He is a second-semester sports writer for KentWired. Covering sports, whether it be writing or reporting, is one of Kyle's passions. He enjoys  being involved in sports from a journalist point of view. Contact him at [email protected]

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