Flashes young field hockey team gears up for weekend road trip


Midfield, freshman Helen Harper moves the ball down the field during a game versus Virginia Commonwealth University at Murphy-Mellis Field on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The Flashes won in double over-time 4-3.

Zack Sommer Sports Reporter

Following a dramatic double overtime win over Virginia Commonwealth University last weekend, the Kent State field hockey team heads to Norfolk, Virginia, to face Old Dominion University Saturday before traveling to East Lansing, Michigan, for a showdown with Michigan State University Sunday. 

After losing 4-3 in overtime to Michigan State last season, the Flashes hope the addition of nine freshmen will help give them the edge over the Spartans this year.

“We lost seven seniors,” said coach Kathleen Wiler. “We recruited some awesome girls. Just finding where people are fitting in and what spots or roles people are going to play for us. It is a challenge, but we do it every year.”

This year, the Flashes are leaning on team captain Madison Thompson to help lead the team and anchor the attacking line. Thompson scored 22 points for the Flashes last season, the third most on the team.

“Nine is a large freshman class number,” Thompson said. “We are doing a pretty good job of assimilating them into our structure and style of play. The pace of the game is a lot different, and that’s a big jump from high school to college. Your freshman year is your year to get the cobwebs out and understand and learn.”

Thompson said this year’s freshman class is doing everything the team asks of them, and they’re working hard to improve each day.

“They are coming into practice and working hard, doing everything we ask them to do,” Thompson said.  “They are teaching us to show and explain what we are doing so they can learn from us as well, and I think they are a great addition to our team.”

Zack Sommer is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].