Off the bench and onto success

Rachel Jones

Freshman Rebecca Lee says she’s not superstitious.

But she still wears her signature yellow bow to every Kent State field hockey game.

“My little yellow bow is lucky,” she said. “When I wore flowers, we didn’t win, so I’m going to stick to the bow.”

The bow’s luck seems to be working.

Only six games into her collegiate career, the substitute forward already has one goal and one assist to her name.

“I felt better (when I assisted the goal) than when I scored the goal,” Lee said. “I kind of feel shy when I score myself, but if someone else scored, I still played a role. It’s not that I don’t like to score goals, but it’s good to mix it up a bit.”

The 12th player has graced the starting lineup, but she has primarily spent the games on the sidelines, anxiously waiting to hear her name.

“You never know when you’re going to go on,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Go on for that person,’ and you’re like ‘OK!’ But it’s good when you hear your name.”

Every time she gets to charge the field, Lee said she has to give her top performance. It’s easy for Lee to network into the plays, but it’s just as simple for her coaches to remove her from the field.

“When I get subbed in, it’s my chance to prove myself,” Lee said. “If you’re not on the starting lineup, you have to prove yourself, so you can get on for the next game.”

In a game with unlimited subs, Kent State coach Kathleen (Schanne) Wiler said she does not view subs any different than starters.

“No one can play all 70 minutes, so we need everyone to play,” Wiler said. “And we sub a lot.”

After storing her energy on the sidelines, Lee said she feels she has an advantage over the starters already on the field.

“Everyone else seems more tired than I am because I have fresh legs,” she said. “I kind of try to get them on their back foot from the start. Sometimes, I like to think of myself as an impact player.”

Wiler said the impact is evident through the energy and strength Lee brings to the game when she’s subbed in.

“She’s physically strong, but also strong on the ball,” Wiler said. “She’s gutsy.”

Having control of the ball and running it down the field is Lee’s favorite part of playing field hockey, but really, she just wants to be on the field.

“I’ve never been one to love watching hockey, I just want to play,” Lee said. “You support your team on the sidelines, but you just want to be in the game yourself.”

Lee wants to continue to impact the Flashes (3-3) and improve on the up-and-down season so far.

Golden Flash Invitational

Golden Flash Invitational

Who: Kent State (3-3) vs. No. 5 Michigan State (7-0)

When: 2 p.m. Friday

Where: Murphy-Mellis Field

Who: Kent State vs. No. 13 Boston (5-1)

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Murphy-Mellis Field

“I want to make it to the NCAA, and I want to get those MAC rings,” said Lee, lightly tracing a circle around her finger.

“I think we’re really good, and we have a really good chance.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].