Kent State field hockey celebrates their first victory

Nick Shook

After starting the regular season with two-straight losses, Kent State field hockey (1-3) packed its bags for a two-game trip to Iowa. The Flashes, who were outscored 9-1 in their first two games, left Kent in search of their first win of the season, starting with their matchup Friday against Iowa.

The game didn’t exactly go as planned, as the Flashes fell behind the Hawkeyes early, trailing 3-0 at halftime. Sophomore Rebecca Lee opened the scoring for the Flashes with a goal early in the second half, but three more goals by Iowa put the game out of reach at 6-1. Senior Debbie Bell scored two goals within seven minutes to cut the deficit to 6-3, but another goal by Iowa sealed the victory at 7-3. Kent State was encouraged by its ability to score, even if it was late.

“I think it’s a bittersweet feeling when you scored two goals quickly late in the game, because it shows we should have gotten things going a lot earlier,” Bell said.

The Flashes took away some positives from their loss and prepared to take the field Saturday versus Massachusetts.

“That night we went home, studied it and we realized what we did wrong, and then came out and corrected our mistakes,” Bell said.

Kent State opened its second game of the weekend by allowing a UMass goal just five minutes into the game. However, Lee responded with a goal of her own 17 minutes later, tying the game at 1-1. The Flashes continued to improve in the second half, scoring a goal in the 39th minute of play. Freshman Julia Hofman knocked in the goal that gave the Flashes a 2-1 lead.

“It’s a definite confidence boost, when you go out there and are the first ones to score, you realize that your coaches aren’t just saying that you can score,” Bell said.

The Minutewomen tied the game nine minutes later on a goal by Nicole Cordero. The game remained tied at 2-2 when the final horn sounded, sending the two teams to overtime. Bell converted a penalty shot just three minutes into the overtime period, sending the Flashes back home with their first victory of the season, a win they desperately needed.

“I think it was a complete mentality change between Friday and Saturday,” Bell said.

The victory gave the Flashes a confidence boost that Bell hopes can result in similar future outcomes. Once Kent State began to find success on the offensive end of the pitch, Bell began to sense a change in attitude in her teammates.

“The difference is just the players’ attitude to take on the change of styles and knowing that we could change it ourselves and turn the season around,” Bell said.

The Flashes will hope to continue to find success on the field in their next two games, at Lock Haven and at Temple, this weekend. The main point of focus for Kent State, according to Bell, isn’t in terms of strategy, but instead in the mental focus of the team.

“(The focus is) just understanding the style of our team and knowing what we’re capable of,” Bell said.

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected].