Flashes field hockey split in opening weekend series

Chris Ginley

The Kent State field hockey team began its season schedule with a pair of games on Labor Day weekend in Harrisonburg, Va., falling 5-1 against James Madison Friday and winning their first game of the year against Appalachian State Sunday.

The Flashes didn’t get off to the start that they hoped for Friday night, as James Madison jumped ahead to a 3-0 lead before the end of the first half.

Junior Julia Hofmann got the Flashes on the board first in the second half with a goal in the 44th minute of an assist from junior Jenna McHale, but the Dukes responded with a goal of their own from Robin De Bruyne at the 48th minute of the contest.

James Madison added to its lead with a goal by Taylor West, her third goal of the game, to put the game out of the Flashes’ reach.

The Flashes returned to the field Sunday afternoon and came away with a decisive 6-2 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers behind a solid all-around effort.

McHale put Kent State ahead first at the 27-minute mark with an unassisted goal from the corner. Senior Rebecca Lee scored a goal with two minutes left in the first half to push the Flashes lead to 2-0 going into halftime.

The Flashes and the Mountaineers exchanged goals to start the second half before Kent State pulled away with three unanswered scores. Sophomore Alexis Madeira and junior Shannon Marin both scored goals during the 63rd minute of the game within 10 seconds of each other.

Head coach Kathleen Wiler was happy with the unity of her team over the weekend and said the Flashes put together a great performance against Appalachian State.

“I’m happy to put some goals in the back of the net, and I was pleased with the hard work,” Wiler said.

The Flashes will head to East Lansing, Mich. for two more weekend games against Monmouth at 4 p.m Friday and Syracuse at 1 p.m Sunday.

Contact Chris Ginley at [email protected].