Flashes look to avenge MAC tournament demise


Sophomore midfielder Alayna Harris makes a pass at the field hockey game against Ohio State on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. The Flashes lost 3-4.

Alex Klukaszewski

The Kent State field hockey team will begin its regular season Sat., Aug. 30 at Murphy-Mellis Field against James Madison University.

After traveling to Michigan State last Saturday for two, 50-minute exhibition games, the Flashes split the weekend series, 1-1, facing the Spartans and Central Michigan, the team that bested them in the first round of last year’s Mid American Conference tournament.

Kent State head coach Kathleen Wiler’s message after the first two exhibition games led to a week full of good vibes during workouts and practice in preparation for Saturday’s season opener.

“It was just so great to get out there and compete against someone else other than ourselves,” Wiler said.  “We just really talked about how we’re going to come back and practice and get better from what we did. Practice makes permanent, not perfect.”

Along with six returning seniors, including Julia Hofmann, the Flashes’ leading scorer the past two seasons, Wiler said she is confident in her two goalkeepers: freshman Andrea Rinehart and sophomore Felicia Almeida.

“Andrea is technically a really strong goalkeeper,” Wiler said. “We’ve continued to work on her urgency in the cage and she really has a rock of a backup and good person in (Almeida), and so they’re a good duo and they support each other.”

The Flashes went 4-1 in conference play last season and claimed the 2013 MAC title. After an overtime victory over Central Michigan last season, Flashes found themselves on the losing end of a depleting 3-1 loss to the Chippewas in the M.A.C. Tournament. Kent State and Central Michigan are set to face off on Sat., Nov. 1, in Mount Pleasant, just six days before the M.A.C. Tournament.

“In the M.A.C. Conference, we all beat each other up,” Wiler said. “We’re all strong teams and there are no pushovers, so we’re just looking forward to taking it game-by-game and seeing what this team can do and the legacy they’re going to leave.”

Saturday’s game is slated to begin at noon.

Contact Alex Klukaszewski at [email protected].