Scoring machine leads field hockey

Cody Erbacher

Bell tops team in goals scored, points

Debbie Bell knew she was meant to score the ball since she was a teenager.

“I’m not really a field player,” the sophomore forward said. “I was probably 15 or younger when I realized that’s what I was doing.”

Since Bell began play last year as a freshman on the Kent State field hockey team, she has either led or been tied for the team lead in goals.

“I don’t really see it as a big deal or that I’m doing anything special,” Bell said. “It’s just getting my job done.”

In her first game as a freshman last year, Bell had two goals off the bench. From that point on Bell was a scoring machine.

Bell had 21 goals in 2008, which led her to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Region First Team, and Mid-American Conference First Team awards. Bell was also named to the All-Rookie Team.

She ranked eighth in the nation with an average of 0.95 goals per game.

This season, Bell has found similar success. She has a MAC leading 11 goals and 24 points, and is ranked ninth in the nation in goals scored.

“It’s a cool feeling being ranked,” Bell said. “But I don’t think about where I’m ranked. It’s more about where I want our team to go.”

The Flashes travel to Michigan today to face Central Michigan at 2 p.m. Kent State then welcomes Ohio to Murphy-Mellis Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.

During last year’s regular season, Bell scored two goals against Central Michigan and one goal against Ohio.

Entering this weekend the Flashes are 4-5, with a 1-0 record in conference play. The Flashes lead the MAC averaging 2.78 goals per match, but are fourth in goals against with a 3.22 goal average.

Kent State has played one game in the last 16 days, but Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said that the team is ready for the two matches this weekend.

“It’s been a full week, and I think it’s good that we have (two games) this weekend,” Schanne said. “I think the girls are hungry to play, and that’s good.”

Kent State won both of its regular season games against Central Michigan and Ohio last season. The Flashes also faced both teams in the MAC Tournament and won.

Since the Flashes beat both teams in the tournament and won the MAC Championship, they see a rivalry between MAC teams trying to be the No. 1 team.

“Every team is our rival,” Schanne said. “We’re the reigning champion, so we have a bull’s-eye on our back. So we just need to come out and be ready for everybody.”

Central Michigan is 3-5 with a 1-2 conference record. Leading the team in scoring is senior forward Kelly Jordan with four goals and five assists. She dominates the team with 46 shots, 35 more than the next most.

The Chippewas lead the MAC with a 2.09 goals against average.

Ohio has lost four of its past five games. The Bobcats are 2-6 and 0-1 in the MAC. Junior Katherine Ballard leads Ohio with four goals.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].