Flashes look to beat Mich.

Cody Erbacher

The Kent State field hockey team will enter its last nonconference and road game of the season today against Michigan.

“I’m looking forward to going up to Ann Arbor and giving them a good game,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said.

Since the Flashes entered Mid-American Conference play, much of the team’s focus has been placed on staying at the top of the standings.

Schanne said the team is excited for the game because it plays Michigan every year and uses the game to measure itself against talent outside of the MAC.

“It’s a regional game,” she said. “It’s an important game, and it’s good we get to keep showing our stuff.”

After playing back-to-back games last weekend, the Flashes return to the field with only three days of rest.

“I’m kind of glad that we’re pushing them right now,” Schanne said. “After this week’s game, we only have one game on the weekend. We’re kind of tapering to finish strong.”

Schanne said the athletes have to be careful because at this point in the season they can easily get injured or sick.

“I’m just really harping on them on recovering,” Schanne said. “For athletes, this time in the season is when we see a lot of sickness and injuries when they’re at their fittest.”

The Flashes (9-6, 6-1 MAC) are currently first place in the conference.

With a 6-3 road record, Kent State has a chance to earn its most road wins since 2000 if the team can beat Michigan today.

In the past two games, junior midfielder Rachel Miller has been the key to Kent State’s offensive production. Against Missouri State on Saturday, Miller recorded two goals, including the game-winner in the 3-2 victory. She also assisted the other goal for the Flashes.

When Kent State traveled to face Ohio, Miller scored the Flashes’ only goal in an attempt to stick with the Bobcats before losing 2-1.

Miller, who is one of two Flashes in the MAC in the top ten for goals and assists, is tied for sixth with eight goals, and tied for fifth with seven assists. She has 23 points this season.

But the MAC’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Debbie Bell, hasn’t been out of the scoring loop.

Bell has 19 goals with four assists, giving her 42 points on the season. She has scored in eight of the team’s nine games and has three hat tricks. Bell ranks fifth in the nation for scoring.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].