Field Hockey claims regular season MAC title with 3-1 victory

Junior goal keeper Jahna Jordan hugs senior midfielder Rebecca Lee after Kent beat Miami 3-1 on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2013 at Murphy-Mellis Field. Photo by Matt Hafley.

Chris Ginley

Miami’s Emily Gruesser is struck by Kent’s senior midfielder Alyssa McFerren’s stick after she passed the ball on October 27, 2013 at Murphy-Mellis Field. Miami fell to Kent, 3-1. Photo by Matt Hafley.

Kent State field hockey’s game on Sunday served as a metephor for the larger season — starting slow and finishing fast.

The Flashes (8-8, 4-0 MAC) started the season 3-7, then went 4-0 in the conference schedule and clinched the MAC championship.

In Sunday’s game, Miami University scored the first goal, but Kent State made the last three at Murphy-Mellis Field.

“I think that we have three things that we focused on: our unshakeable belief in ourselves, our grittiness and that we attack in everything that we do,” head coach Kathleen Wiler said. “Today wasn’t pretty, but we gritted it out.”

The RedHawks struck first at the 4:18 mark of the first half, with a goal from Gabby Goldach. The Flashes evened up the score at 16:39 with a goal from junior Hannah Faulkner, her eighth of the year.

Faulkner has totaled 19 points this season, which puts her at second on the team in that category. Her first-half goal also tied her for second in goals among teams in the conference.

With the game tied at 1-1, both teams remain deadlocked until the latter part of the second half. The Flashes added two more goals, the first of which coming from freshman Madison Thompson at the 58-minute mark of the half off an assist by Sami Surdy.

Junior Julia Hofmann scored her 10th goal of the season off a penalty corner at the 65:27 mark to solidify the Flashes’ lead and victory.

The Flashes will head to Athens next Saturday to square off against the Ohio University Bobcats. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday’s win gave Kent State the top seed in the MAC tournament, November 7-9 at Miami.

Contact Chris Ginley at [email protected].