Field hockey beats Longwood, will face Miami (OH) in MAC Championship

Junior+back%2C+Courtney+Weise+%28left%29%2C+celebrates+with+senior+middle%2C+Silvia+Figa+Malgosa%2C+after+she+scored+during+the+MAC+semifinals+Friday%2C+Nov.+3%2C+2017.

Junior back, Courtney Weise (left), celebrates with senior middle, Silvia Figa Malgosa, after she scored during the MAC semifinals Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Henry Palattella

The first time the Kent State field hockey team took on Longwood University, the Flashes needed overtime to beat the Lancers, with Berta Jover Llorens playing hero with her goal two minutes into overtime. 

On Friday, Kent State (9-9) just needed regulation to get past the Lancers (11-6), as four different Flashes found the goal in their 4-2 victory over Longwood in the Mid-American Conference semifinal. 

“I think tournament time it’s always a new season but we just wanted to come out and fight hard and leave everything out here, and the ladies did that today,” coach Kathleen Wiler said. “They worked hard and prepared and got the result that they wanted.”

The Flashes found themselves in a hole early as Longwood’s Edel Nyland roped one into the back of the goal after a Kent State misplay. 

The Lancers lead lasted two minutes, as Helen Harper got the back from Jessica Nesbitt and went past a scrum in front of the goal and snuck the ball past Longwood goalkeeper Katie Wyman to knot the score at one. 

The Flashes took the lead three minutes later when Laila Richter cut through the center of the Longwood defense and scored. 

“We as the strikers wanted to hold the goal-box positions and then we were focused on rebounds and getting the ball in the net,” Richter said.

The Lancers came back and tied it once again nine minutes later when Leonie Verstraete scored on a laser that came was ricocheted in off of Kent State goalie Kylie LeBlanc. 

However, the Flashes took the lead for good with five minutes left in the half when Silvia Figa Malgosa scored on a penalty stroke after a Kent State attacker was shoved down from behind in the box. 

“We were right in it, so I think the biggest thing is that you need to keep attacking,” Wilder said of the team’s mentality after Longwood’s goal. “And then we just needed to clean some things up defensively. 

The Flashes added an insurance goal in the second half when Jover Llorens scored on an unassisted goal. 

“(Four goals by four different people) says that we have a lot of diversity and that everyone can score on our team,” Richter said. “Two midfielders scored, so that shows we’re all prepared to score goals.

The Flashes play was defined by their intensity both on and off the field, as every member of the Kent State bench spent the duration of the game standing and cheering on their teammates. 

“I think this team (played) with passion and energy, and we said it was going to take 26 people to beat Longwood, not just the 11 on the field,” Wiler said. 

The Flashes will take on Miami (OH) tomorrow at 2 p.m., with the MAC Championship on the line. The Flashes fell to the Redhawks by a score of 1-0 in September. 

“We had a really tough match against them in September, but that’s along time ago. I know both teams have grown a lot, and we’re ready,” Wiler said. 

Henry Palattella is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]