Field hockey season ends after falling to Miami on Friday

Cody Erbacher

Throughout the field hockey team’s season, every Mid-American Conference game was a “dogfight” as Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said.

After this weekend, the dogfights have ended.

The Flashes fell to Miami, 2-1, in overtime on Friday in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. After receiving a first-round bye, Kent State lost in the tournament semi-final game to end the season.

“The girls were hurt and upset,” Schanne said. “They didn’t want to see the season end. We always want to keep playing because we are doing what we love.”

The game remained scoreless until sophomore forward Debbie Bell, who led the nation in goal scoring, scored in the 41st minute. Senior forward Laurie Wilkins assisted Bell’s shot.

Miami was quick to answer as freshman midfielder Rachael Walz tied the game with a goal.

Neither team was able to find the back of the cage again during regulation, sending the game into overtime.

The RedHawks ended the game with a goal from sophomore midfielder Amanda Seeley in the 74th minute.

With the win, Miami advanced to the MAC Tournament Championship game to face Ohio on Saturday. The RedHawks lost 2-1, giving the Bobcats the MAC Tournament Championship victory.

The Flashes only lost two games to MAC opponents in the regular season, with one loss against Miami and one against Ohio.

Since the team has played every MAC team twice, Schanne has said that the competition is tough because opposing teams know what players to watch, and what areas need to be focused on.

“They’re a good team, we’re a good team,” Schanne said. “Its just really good competition.”

Bell said she was not worried about the regular-season loss against Miami because the team leaves the games in the past.

But now their season is over and the focus has shifted to next year.

“We’re looking forward to some of the post-season awards,” Schanne said. “We’re looking forward to 2010.”

There is comfort in the statistics that have been compiled throughout the season.

Bell led the nation in scoring with 28 goals and finished with one in the post-season. Helping her cause was the 138 shots she took, which accounted for almost half of the team’s total shots taken. She totaled five assists and led the team with 63 points.

Junior midfielder Rachel Miller, who was a key component in Bell’s scoring attack, led the team with 14 assists and trailed Bell in points with 34. Miller assisted Bell nine times.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].