Flashes fall to Northwestern in field hockey season opener

TV2 Highlight

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Video by Jon Jankowski, TV2 sports reporter

The season opener for the Kent State field hockey team may have begun 15 minutes too early for the Flashes.

Northwestern’s reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, junior forward Chelsea Armstrong, scored three goals within the first 13 minutes of the two teams’ season-opener to give the Wildcats a lead that proved to be insurmountable.

Armstrong’s first goal, a 12-yard shot from the right side of the pitch, came just 2:03 into the game. Nine minutes later, Shannon Disbrow’s shot deflected off of goal keeper Jahna Jordan, and Armstrong returned the shot for her second goal of the game . Armstrong scored just over a minute later, this time off of a rebounded shot from Regan Mooney.

“I think the first ten minutes, we really just weren’t stepping up and taking charge defensively,” head coach Kathleen Wiler said. “Our structure was a little bit off.”

Kent State adjusted defensively and held the score at 3-0 until the 12:24 mark, when all-time scoring leader Debbie Bell appeared to score a goal off of a corner. However, the goal was disallowed because the shot was too high, and the two teams entered halftime with the score standing at 3-0.

The Flashes increased their offensive pressure in the second half, occupying Northwestern’s side of the field for much of the half. The Wildcats increased their lead with 6:23 remaining in the game on Nikki Parsley’s goal, which came off of an Armstrong rebound. The game concluded with Northwestern out on top, 4-0.

“After that ten minutes passed, we were really in the game,” Wiler said. “I think we played a really good 60 minutes.”

Although the scoreboard didn’t exactly reflect it, Wiler was pleased with her team’s effort.

“Outstanding,” Wiler said. “I couldn’t ask for more.”

Kent State will travel to Columbus on Sunday to play against a neutral-site game against New Hampshire.

“I think the biggest things are going to be cleaning up our individual defense, and team defense,” Wiler said.

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected] or by Twitter @Shookie_Cookie.