Field hockey rebound from MAC loss

Cody Erbacher

Flashes lose first conference game, beats Bears

Watch footage from the game.

After falling to Ohio in Athens on Friday, the Kent State field hockey team beat Missouri State on Saturday 3-2 at Murphy-Mellis Field.

“We played a tough schedule this weekend,” coach Kathleen Schanne said. “I told (the team) that it’s all about guts because we had less than 24 hours to recover.”

Although Kent State suffered its first conference loss against Ohio, the team maintains its first place standing in the Mid-American Conference with a 6-1 conference record and 9-6 overall.

Penalty corners ruled Saturday’s match against Missouri State, with every goal scored coming as the result of a corner. Junior midfielder Rachel Miller was able to capitalize on the penalty corners with two goals.

“Rachel played really well overall,” Schanne said. “But she wouldn’t be able to do it without her supporting cast.”

Miller’s game-winning goal was scored off a penalty corner in the 65th minute assisted by junior forward Nicole Leach and senior midfielder Allison Kittelberger. Miller hit the ball by the Missouri State defenders on the right side of the goal.

Leach and Kittelberger also assisted the first penalty corner goal scored by Miller in the eighth minute.

Sophomore forward Debbie Bell didn’t waste time scoring her MAC – leading 19th goal off a pass from Miller in the 16th minute.

Bell’s eight game streak of scoring ended Friday against Ohio. Her streak of scoring in eight consecutive games was the second longest in Kent State history behind a 10-game streak set by Elsbeth Vesterre in 1998.

Miller provided two goals and assisted Bell’s goal, but she said the team effort was the reason for the scores.

“It’s the team,” she said. “The team sets the shot up, and the team is playing really good.”

Miller has either scored a goal or had an assist in the last six games.

Kent State topped Missouri State in penalty corners 10-8 and outshot the Bears 18-13.

“It was a little bit of a struggle, but we pulled it together at the end,” Miller said. “It’s going to help the team rebuild.”

Schanne said she is happy with the game’s outcome, but she and the team know the winning margin should be higher.

Kent State escaped a shutout and then suffered a last-minute loss at Ohio Friday for the team’s first MAC loss of the season.

The Flashes lone goal was scored by Miller with five minutes left in the game. Ohio scored with just over a minute left to take down the Flashes.

Schanne said she was disappointed with the loss but glad the Flashes made it a game late.

“It was a really hard-fought game,” she said. “Our backs were on the wall, and we responded.”

Kent State and Ohio split the regular season series for the fourth consecutive year with the Bobcats win. The Flashes won 2-1 in overtime at Murphy-Mellis Field on Oct. 4.

Junior goalkeeper Caroline Suitch was able to record six saves in each of the weekend’s games. Kent State travels to face Michigan on Wednesday.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].