Field hockey ready to start legacy as team makes way to California

Cody Erbacher

Flashes play in three games away starting today

Kent State sophomore Debbie Bell attempts a shot against Katherine Deem, St. Loius Billikens goalie during the first period of their game at Kent. Kent State won the game 7-0. Daniel Maxwell | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Mid-American Conference preseason coaches’ poll picked the Kent State field hockey team to win the MAC for the second year straight. Although that would seemingly add extra pressure to every game, the poll doesn’t seem to faze the Flashes.

“When you look at (rankings) we were predicted to win (last year) and we did,” sophomore forward Debbie Bell said. “But that doesn’t mean we can do it again.”

Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said she wants the returning players to forget about their previous success.

“The biggest thing I said to them is this is a chance for the team to start its legacy because that team last year will never exist again,” Schanne said.

Starting a new legacy sounds like a rough task, but the Flashes have the mindset that can lead to success. But if Kent State hopes of having a repeat championship season, they know it’s not the time to focus on the future.

“(The poll) doesn’t matter to us, because we know we have to play one game at a time,” Bell said.

After a 3-2 loss against James Madison on Sunday, Bell said the game was in the past and now the team will have to focus on a three-game stretch in California.

Schanne said the team had an off-day at practice following the James Madison game, which is typical after a long weekend.

“(Tuesday) we came out and the intensity was good, and now we are just looking to go out to California,” Schanne said.

The first opponent the Flashes will face is Pacific today at 7 p.m. Both teams are coming off one-goal losses in their previous games. The Tigers lost 3-2 to Towson on Saturday.

Last season, Kent State beat Pacific 2-1 at home and has a 3-0 all-time record against the Tigers.

Kent State enters this game with a statistical advantage over Pacific. Kent State has scored nine goals this season compared to Pacific’s four.

The Flashes also edge the Tigers in shot attempts, 60-20. Despite knowing the statistics, Kent State isn’t altering its preparation for the game.

“We are going to focus on ourselves shooting the ball, having a strong attack and try to keep building with every game,” Schanne said.

Schanne said she wants to keep the players from being too confident going into each game to ensure the team plays with its full potential.

“They’re not going to go down without a fight,” Schanne said. “They want to be champions and they will work hard every day to get there.”

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].