Field hockey captain hopes to leave Kent State as a champion

Cody Erbacher

Senior midfielder Allison Kittelberger looks at this season’s Mid-American Conference play as a chance to leave Kent State on a good note.

“Everyone wants their senior year to be the year that they win and lead their team to the championship,” Kittelberger said.

Kittelberger said this season is more meaningful to her because she knows this is her last chance to play at the collegiate level.

“You know it’s your last year,” she said. “You know that you don’t have another chance, so, you really want to win more.”

The team has had a workout plan since the preseason, and Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said they built a schedule the coaches and team think they can be successful with.

“I know these seniors are dedicated and committed to our mission,” Schanne said. “I hope it’s a great finish for them.”

Since Kittelberger has been at Kent State, the Flashes’ MAC record has been 19-11, with two winning seasons and a MAC Championship.

Kittelberger was named to the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad all three years of her career, the All-MAC Second Team her sophomore and junior season and the MAC All-Tournament Team in her junior season.

Kent State looks to repeat as regular season and MAC tournament champions this year. The Flashes start their conference play at Missouri State at 5 p.m. today.

“Our out-of-conference games prepared us for MAC play, we’re definitely ready for the MAC,” Kittelberger said.

Since she is a senior captain, Kittelberger said she is doing her best to keep the team in position for victory in the MAC.

“I want to make sure the team is motivated, and keeping the practice intense and making sure we are prepared for all of our games,” she said.

The Flashes haven’t played a game in nine days but Schanne said that the break helped the players rest.

“We played a lot of games in a short period of time, and it was a good mental and physical break for the team,” Schanne said.

Traveling to Missouri presents a new task for Kent State because the Bears don’t play on the traditional artificial turf, but instead use field turf.

“We have to adapt our game,” Schanne said. “That’s why we’ve been practicing on the football field to prepare as much as possible.”

Missouri State (2-6) has lost three straight games. Senior midfielder Alyssa Hile leads the Bears in scoring with six goals.

Kittelberger said the Flashes are confident they will be able to leave Missouri with a victory.

“We definitely should beat them, ” Kittelberger said. “They’re a beatable team. I think we have the players on our team that have skills to beat them, and I would say that we are the better team going into this game.”

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].