Flashes field hockey takes on Villanova, Syracuse Saturday


Sophmore Shannon Martin tries to dribble it past a Lock Haven defender during the game on September 9. The Flashes’ second-half rally was not enough to win the game, losing 4-2. File photo.

Aja Phillips

The first test for the Flashes’ field hockey team is against Villanova University at noon Saturday. That game will followed by a matchup at 1 p.m. Sunday at Syracuse University.

Junior midfielder Melanie Kahn said her motivation comes from being in the locker room with her teammates and knowing everyone is determined to play well.

Kent State is looking to right the ship, as it has lost two consecutive away games.

Head coach Kathleen Wiler said the team will have to play hard the entirety of both games to be successful.

“When we are away, we just need to be able to put two halves together. We have to be able to play both, and we are only executing in one half,” Wiler said. “We need to put 70 minutes together.”

The Flashes have never played Villanova, and Wiler said she is looking forward to the new competition.

Kahn recognized that the team’s east coast swing is going to be difficult.

“Playing at home, you have more fans rooting supporting you on the side line and you know the turf and [are] just feeling comfortable.” Kahn said, “Going away is a lot harder. The turfs are different — you have refs that might not be all for you and more people are rooting against you.”

Syracuse is on a five-game winning streak and will be hosting Villanova at 4 p.m. Friday.

Villanova currently has a 4-3 record this season.

Junior midfielder Alyssa McFerren said the Flashes have a bit of a history with Syracuse.

“Syracuse is definitely the bigger competition,” McFerren said. “We played them two years ago and actually beat them when they were ranked really high.”

The team has been working on a half-court press in an effort to clamp down on defense and force more turnovers.

Kahn said Friday’s game against Villanova is a valuable building block for the team going into its second game of the weekend.

“If we can come out really hard against Villanova in our first game it will definitely set us up better for Syracuse,” Kahn said.

The Kent State Field Hockey team will play its third consecutive away game Wednesday against Ohio State.

Contact Aja Phillips at Aphill52kent.edu.