Field hockey sweeps first home series of the season

Game 1: Kent State 3 Appalachian State 2

The Kent State women’s field hockey team continued its four game winning streak with a 3-2 comeback home win over Appalachian State University Friday.

“Today was an awesome example of our team being able to come back two times and come away with the win,” coach Kyle DeSandes-Moyer said. “Coming back was something that showed a lot of determination by the team.”

The Flashes got off to a slow offensive start, only taking five total shots and one shot on goal in the first half.

Appalachian State’s senior forward Meghan Smart scored the game’s first goal in the second quarter to put the Mountaineers up 1-0.

Kent stormed back in the third quarter, scoring three goals on eight shots. Five of the eight shots were on goal and the goal scorers were junior midfielder Helena Cambra Soler and freshman forward/midfielder Katie Wuerstle (4).

“We had a couple players who demonstrated some awesome individual effort,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “Also coupled with some really good organization defensively we were able to make it happen in our attacking circle.”

After Wuerstle’s first goal, Smart scored again for Appalachian State’s second goal, tying the game at 2-2 before Wuerstle scored what would be the game-winning goal for Kent State and her fifth of the season.

“Katie has a super attacking mindset and she has her nose to the goal,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “We love her grit and speed with the ball.”

Neither team had a lot of offensive success in the fourth quarter. The Flashes did not take a single shot and Appalachian State only took two shots in the quarter.

Overall, the Flashes took 13 shots, six of which were on goal compared the Mountaineers’ five shots, four of which were on goal. Each team had two penalty corner opportunities in the contest.

Defensively for Kent, senior goalkeeper Azure Fernsler had two saves and allowed two goals on five shots faced. For Appalachian State, sophomore goalkeeper Addie Clark had three saves and allowed three goals on 13 shots faced.

Game 2: Kent State 1 Appalachian State 0

Kent State (5-1, 3-1 MAC) completed the weekend sweep and extended its winning streak to five games by defeating Appalachian State University (3-5, 2-4 MAC) 1-0 Saturday in Kent. 

“Today was a battle and I’m proud of their effort,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “Overall, I think the weekend was a good learning experience and it feels nice to get two wins at home.”

Senior midfielder Clara Rodriguez Seto scored the game’s lone goal in the first quarter.

Both teams took minimal shots in the first half with Kent taking two first half shots, only one of which was on goal, and the Mountaineers took three first half shots, two of which were on goal.

In the third quarter, the Flashes took six shots, three of which were on goal, and had two penalty corner opportunities. Appalachian State took four shots, only one of which was on goal, and had one penalty corner opportunity.

Overall, both teams played a fairly even matchup. Each team took nine total shots and Kent had four total shots on goal, while the Mountaineers had three shots on goal. Both teams ended up with two penalty corner opportunities.

“App State came out hard and they definitely wanted the game a lot and I think they tested our team,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “It tested us mentally and how well we could battle in a defensive battle.”

Defensively for the Flashes, Fernsler had three saves on nine shots faced. For Appalachian State, Clark allowed one goal and had three saves on nine shots faced. 

“Azure demonstrated a lot of poise and composure and we relied on her a lot to keep the scoreboard at zero for us,” DeSandes-Moyer said.

Kent will face a tough test against MAC leader Miami University (7-1, 4-0 MAC) Friday, April 2 at 3 p.m. and Saturday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Oxford. The last time the two teams met was in the 2019 MAC Championship game where the RedHawks were victorious. Miami had its two matches against Bellarmine University canceled this weekend because of COVID-19 protocols. 

“It’s always a good matchup between our two teams,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “It’s a good rivalry and both teams play very hard. It’s going to be a good test again for us.”

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