Field hockey ends three-game losing skid

Cody Erbacher

Kent State beats Lock Haven, falls to UVA

Kent State junior midfielder Bryn Stevens drives the ball toward Virginia’s goalie. Kent State was defeated 8-2 in Friday’s match at the Murphy-Mellis field. Glennis Siegfried | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State field hockey team ended a three-game losing streak yesterday at Lock Haven. The Flashes shut out the Lady Eagles 2-0.

“We put together two halves, which is really important,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “The defensive unit played very well, and I was very pleased with their performance.”

Lock Haven outshot Kent State 12-9, but Schanne said that didn’t affect the Flashes game plan. Schanne also said that the team capitalized on penalty corners. The Flashes had seven corners, compared to the Lady Eagles’ four.

Junior midfielder Rachel Miller ignited Kent State’s slumping offense as she rocketed the ball in from a penalty corner in the first half. The goal, Miller’s third of the year, was assisted by senior midfielder Allison Kittelberger and junior forward Nicole Leach.

Following the goal, sophomore forward Debbie Bell concluded the Flashes’ scoring with a goal in the first half. Bell dribbled the ball in and scored through Lock Haven’s defense with a backhand shot.

Bell leads the team with eight goals and 18 points.

Freshman goalkeeper Kristin Willders started yesterday for the first time this season. Schanne said the defensive unit needed to shake things up and change something to better the team.

This was just the third game Willders played after redshirting all of last year. Willders was perfect on the day, saving eight goals. Willders has 13 saves on the season.

“We really stuck it out defensively,” Willders said. “We got the shutout and worked really hard with what we’ve been practicing and that really helped us.”

On Friday, Kent State hosted No. 6 Virginia at Murphy-Mellis Field. Kent State lost 8-2 and was outshot 29-5.

Bell was the Flashes’ only scorer for the match on assists from Miller. Both goals were scored during the first half.

Junior goalkeeper Caroline Suitch had a career-high 13 saves on the day.

Schanne said after the game she was happy how the team played during the first half, but going against Virginia’s forwards is a tough task for any team.

Kent State will host No. 16 Ohio State at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Murphy-Mellis Field.

Willders said the team will need to keep practicing hard to prepare for the match against Ohio State.

“We’re going to keep working hard on defense and see how we stack up against a top-20 team,” Willders said.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].