Field hockey upsets No. 8 Syracuse

The Kent State field hockey team upset No. 8 Syracuse with a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday in Columbus.

Junior Debbie Bell, who ranked second in the country last season for goals scored per game, tucked away the winning goal five minutes and 14 seconds into the overtime period.

“It was a great feeling, but there was a lot of hard work that went into it,” the forward said. “I was just at the right place at the right time.”

Earning her 50th career goal Saturday, Kent State coach Kathleen (Schanne) Wiler said she was proud of the team effort behind the game-ending goal.

Senior Rachel Miller received the ball 25 yards out on the left side of the field. After driving the baseline, Miller centered the ball to Bell, who had been making a long run up the field. Bell then launched it into the net from seven yards back.

“Scoring goals is one thing, but this is a game that had huge meaning behind it, seeing as we were the underdogs, the non-ranked team, playing someone so high in the rankings,” Bell said. “To put a goal in their net in overtime meant you were just as good as them.”

Regardless of an opponent’s ranking, overtime in field hockey puts a lot of pressure on the players.

Each team drops from 11 to seven players on the field, and the first one to score in the 15-minute overtime period wins.

“It’s very psychically taxing,” Wiler said.

The Flashes returned to the Ohio State Varsity Field on Sunday but fell to No. 14 Ohio State, 4-0.

“It was a disappointing loss, to say the least,” Bell said. “The biggest disappointment was coming off from that high Saturday and then just not finishing it off (Sunday).”

Wiler said the Flashes have the physical ability to tackle back-to-back games, which occurs several times on their schedule this season.

“Ideally, it would be nice to have a day off in between, but that’s not how our schedules go,” Wiler explained. “Maybe it affected them mentally, but whatever it was, we didn’t have what we needed to put together a W (Sunday).

“We need to find a way for us to do that back to back.”

The Buckeyes (2-1) had 19 shots on goal to Kent State’s five, but Wiler said the chances were there.

“In the first half, we were outshooting them,” she said. “We had some opportunities early on in the game, and we didn’t capitalize on them. We just need to work on our attacking structure.”

While the players already works on penalty corners at each practice, the team plans on focusing on them more this week.

Three of Ohio State’s goals came from penalty corners.

“It’s something that’s really easy to fix,” Bell said. “Knowing it’s not field play (we need to work on) is kind of an upside to the game.”

Wiler said the Flashes defended corners well against Syracuse (3-1) on Saturday, but they will watch the videos to see the breakdown of Sunday’s corners.

“It’s obviously all of the little details of the game that we need to work on,” she said. “That’s a detail (Sunday) that brought us down.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].