Field hockey splits weekend series with Longwood

Game 1: Longwood University 1, Kent State 0

Kent State’s women’s field hockey team opened up its season with a 1-0 road loss against Longwood University Friday.

“Overall, I think we learned a lot,” coach Kyle DeSandes-Moyer said. “It’s definitely a huge test playing the same team back to back and it’s something very unique that we’ve never done before.”

After not taking a single shot in the first quarter, the Flashes gained some offensive momentum firing four shots on goal in the second quarter.

However, Kent’s offensive momentum stalled out in the second half with the team only taking one shot in the second half.

The lone goal of the game was scored late in the third period by Longwood’s Floor Schouten.

The Flashes only took five total shots in the game compared to the Lancers’ seven, and Kent could not convert on any of its five penalty corner opportunities.

“I think if you look at a lot of games right now, they’re very low scoring,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “These players haven’t played in competition in a while. A lot of the finishing in the circle and scoring and the set plays are things that will get better with time as we play more with each other.”

Senior back Emma Bressler took three of Kent’s shots and junior forward Sydney Carr took the other two, both of which were shots on goal.

Defensively for the Flashes, senior goalkeeper Azure Fernsler had four saves on seven shots faced and allowed one goal. Longwood’s senior goalkeeper Abigail Goldberg had three saves on five shots faced.

Game 2: Kent State 2, Longwood University 1 (OT)

Four minutes and 19 seconds into overtime, Kent State’s sophomore forward Sydney Washburn rebounded the game winning goal into the net to give the Kent State field hockey (1-1, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) its first victory of the season against Longwood (2-1, 1-1 MAC) Saturday.

“This game was definitely a good test of our fitness early in the season,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “Luckily we didn’t take too long to finish in overtime, but I think both teams were feeling the effects of back-to-back games.”

The Flashes’ offense got off to a slow start with the team not taking a single shot in the first period.

The Lancers got on the board early with freshman Kate Frey scoring the game’s first goal in the first period.

Kent answered back when junior midfielder Helena Cambra Soler scored the team’s first goal of the season midway through the second quarter to tie the game at 1-1.

The Flashes’ offense stalled out in the third period as the team did not take a single shot. The offense picked up again in the fourth with the team taking four total shots, three of which were shots on goal.

Overall, Kent took eight shots, six of which were shots on goal, and Longwood took seven shots, four of which were shots on goal. The Lancers had four penalty corner opportunities compared to the Flashes’ three.

“Our defensive penalty corners were extremely effective,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “We really worked on being disciplined in our circle on defense.”

Defensively, Kent’s Fernsler had two saves on seven shots faced and Longwood’s Goldberg had four saves on eight shots faced.

“You have to work really hard when you’re playing the same team back to back,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “Winning today was essential for us and it’s going to be really good for us moving forward.”

The Flashes will be back in action Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. each day when the team takes on Bellarmine University (0-4) on the road.

“Bellarmine is joining the MAC in the fall which is why everyone is playing them,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “In terms of preparation, just like we prepare for any team we will watch film and do our due diligence with scouting.”

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