Field hockey ends season on six game win streak, finishes second in MAC

Game 1: Kent State 8 Central Michigan 2

Kent State’s women’s field hockey team celebrated Senior Day with an 8-2 victory over Central Michigan University on Friday.

“Overall, I’m really proud of our group,” coach Kyle DeSandes-Moyer said. “I think they ended the season in a dominant fashion and really took care of business and just closed out the weekend with a lot of pride for their senior class. I’m proud of the way they played.”

The Flashes got off to a hot offensive start scoring three goals on 12 shots and five penalty corner attempts in the first quarter. The goal scorers were senior midfielder/back Ashley Bonetz and sophomore forward Sydney Washburn (2).

Kent’s offensive success continued in the second quarter as the team scored one goal and took eight shots and four penalty corner attempts. The goal scorer was junior forward Luisa Knapp. 

The Flashes would open the second half by scoring three goals on six shots and had four penalty corner attempts. Sophomore midfielder Larissa Balachick, senior back/midfielder Clara Rodriguez Seto and sophomore midfielder/forward Caitlin Holland scored one each.

The Flashes defense held the Chippewas to two goals on five shots and three penalty corner attempts overall. Central Michigan’s only goal scorer was sophomore midfielder Alice O’Hagan. 

Overall, Kent took 32 shots, 22 of which were shots on goal and had 15 penalty corner attempts.

Defensively, Flashes senior goalkeeper Azure Fernsler allowed two goals and had one save on four shots faced. Chippewas freshman goalkeeper Katie Maxim allowed eight goals and had 13 saves on 32 shots faced.

Game 2: Kent State 6 Central Michigan 0

Kent State’s women’s field hockey team (11-3, 9-3 MAC) finished the season riding a six game winning streak by beating Central Michigan University (5-7, 3-6 MAC) by a final score of 6-0 on Saturday.

“We took advantage of our offensive opportunities when we got them and we had a real hunger to score the past couple days,” DeSandes-Moyer said.

The Flashes’ offensive success from Friday carried over into the first quarter Saturday with the team scoring three goals on eight shots and having three penalty corner attempts.

Kent’s offense stalled out in the second quarter with the team only taking two shots and having one penalty corner attempt. The offensive momentum picked up in the third quarter with the Flashes scoring two goals from senior back Emma Bressler and freshman midfielder Victoria Tinghitella.

Kent’s defense held the Chippewas scoreless on five total shots with two of those being shots on goal and allowed one penalty corner opportunity.

Overall, the Flashes took 22 shots, 15 of which were on goal and had seven penalty corner opportunities.

Defensively, Fernsler allowed no goals and had two saves on three shots faced. For Central Michigan, Maxim allowed six goals and had seven saves on 22 shots faced.

Saturday’s game was the Flashes final of the 2021 spring season and the team finished second in MAC standings. 

“I’m proud of this group for sticking with it in really challenging times,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “They did what they needed to do off the field to make sure they could play and have their season.”

Kent finished undefeated on its home field at Murphy-Mellis Field (6-0) and its three season losses came on the road.

“There’s so much pride associated with defending Murphy-Mellis and we talked about that and knew that we set that goal that we wanted to [go undefeated at home],” DeSandes-Moyer said. “I’m very proud of them for staying disciplined and playing with pride especially when we were at home.”

Miami University (13-1, 10-0 MAC) won the regular season title and with no MAC field hockey tournament this season, the RedHawks will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“Obviously, we were disappointed that we didn’t have a MAC Tournament this year which would have changed things a little bit for us,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “I think this group has a ton of potential and I’m really excited for our season that’s going to start here in just a few months in August.”

Kathryn Rajnicek is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].