Flashes fall to Miami RedHawks in MAC field hockey championship game


Sophmore Hannah Faulkner on Oct. 14. Faulkner scored Kent’s sole goal verse Miami on Sunday, Nov. 3 during the MAC Championship game in Oxford, OH, ending the Flashes’ 2012 season. Photo by Coty Giannelli.

Richie Mulhall

Despite a strong defensive effort in the Mid-American Conference tournament semi-final game on Friday, the battle-tested Flashes field hockey team was unable to claim the MAC championship title on Saturday, falling to the Miami RedHawks (12-9, 4-1 MAC) in a close 2-1 game.

Kent State jumped out to an early lead when sophomore Hannah Faulkner scored her seventh goal of the season in only the sixth minute of play. She scored following a rebound from the Miami goalie after the goalie blocked a shot from junior Rebecca Lee.

After Faulkner’s goal, Kent State’s offensive front was stalled for the rest of the game by the RedHawks’ defense. The Flashes’ offense had plenty of opportunities to strike back in the second half, but was unsuccessful in getting the ball past Miami’s resilient defenders.

In the second half of the contest, the RedHawk offense began to surge. Miami scored two unanswered goals that were delivered by MAC player of the year, senior Olivia Miller, and MAC freshman of the year, Bea Dechant.

Miller scored the first RedHawk goal in the 30th minute of play when she received a well-placed pass from the right side of the circle and quickly fired the ball past sophomore Jahna Jordan. Dechant scored the second RedHawk goal in the 47th minute of regulation when she found a pass from penalty corner and shot the ball past the Kent defenders.

“The team had played well Friday and Saturday,” said head coach Kathleen Wiler. “Julia [Hofmann] and her teammates worked hard all weekend.”

It was the second straight year that the Flashes made it to the MAC championship game, but returned home empty-handed. Even though the team came up short in their bid for a championship, Jordan reflected on the great season they had.

“It’s wonderful how we pulled together and became such a strong team,” said Jordan. “In the beginning of the season; we had a rocky start. It’s just great that we came together.”

The team said it would use this loss as motivation for next season, where it will continue to work hard and try to return to another championship game.

“I think we will work on basic skills and get to know each other more as individuals on the field,” said Jordan.

“Our future is bright as only lose one senior,” said Wiler.

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].