Field hockey looks to extend conference win streak


Kent State’s Hannah Faulkner rushes the ball down the field during a match against Ohio University Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. The Flashes won, 4-3.

Ricky Salcer

Playing well at the end of the regular season is what any coach at any level of athletics wants to see — showing that the hard work put in all year long is finally paying off.

Such is the case for the Kent State field hockey team, which has won four of its last five games.

The team is firing on all cylinders and poses a formidable force to be reckoned with in the Mid-American Conference. The Flashes (6-8, 3-0 MAC) have been attacking the cage aggressively as of late, and Kent State field hockey coach Kathleen Wiler knows how hard the team has worked and is happy with the recent success.

“We’re very athletic and we get inside the attacking 25 often,” Wiler said. “And we could always see improvement. But I am proud of the approach we have taken.”

Senior Julia Hofmann has been a key contributor to the Flashes’ thriving on offense. Hofmann ranks 10th all-time in goals scored and points at Kent State. She is also five assists away from being 10th all-time in assists.

“I want the team to be successful, and I want to do my best to put my teammates in position to succeed,” Hofmann said.

The team has dealt with many obstacles throughout the course of the season and has come together to overcome them. Players have sacrificed and adopted new roles in order to better the team, which can be a requirement for success at the collegiate level. Wiler said she is proud of the way her seniors have approached every day they have remaining.

“Seniors want to win, and they want to keep playing as hard as they can while they still have the chance,” Wiler said.

The seniors are ready to close their careers on a strong note and lead their team into postseason play. The Flashes, however, stand behind their sophomore goalie Andrea Rinehart, who has been in these dire situations before.

Rinehart, who took over last year during the middle of the season, said she has been prepared for conference play and will be ready once the conference tournament begins.

“I think it takes a lot of time and patience to be successful but I feel really confident in our team and the way we are playing right now,” Rinehart said.

The Flashes will put their undefeated-conference record on the line as they host Ball State University (5-9, 1-3 MAC) on Saturday and Longwood University (6-10, 2-3 MAC) on Sunday at Murphy-Mellis Field.

Contact Ricky Salcer at [email protected].