Field hockey team’s late rally not enough to get by Dukes

Cody Erbacher

Kent State senior forward Laurie Wilkins attempts to intercept a pass intended for a James Madison University player at Murphy-Mellis Field on Aug. 30. The Dukes beat the Flashes 3-2. Sean M. Mathis | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State field hockey team fell to No. 12 James Madison 3-2 yesterday at Murphy-Mellis Field after falling short of a second-half comeback.

“At this point in the season, we are just looking to grow and improve after every match,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “(Yesterday) we were getting a lot of opportunities, but we need to put the opportunities in the net.”

Dukes forward Tori Lindsey scored two goals in under two minutes to give James Madison an early lead. Lindsey’s goals were the first two scored against the Flashes this season.

The Flashes entered halftime trailing 3-0, but the team outscored the Dukes 2-0 in the second half. Senior forward Laurie Wilkins batted the ball in off a rebound at the beginning of the half.

Minutes later, senior midfielder Allison Kittelberger rushed into the shooting circle to recover a shot attempt by junior back Kara Rhodenbaugh. Then, from the left side of the circle, she hit the ball into the goal.

“We showed a lot of character by coming out in the second half and putting two in the net,” Schanne said. “It’s hard to come from behind, but I’m glad we are creating opportunities.”

Kent State took 26 shots but couldn’t capitalize. Sophomore forward Debbie Bell led the Flashes in shots with 12; however, she was unable to score during the game.

“I’m disappointed in myself for the opportunities I missed, but it’s in the records, and we have to move on,” Bell said.

Junior goalkeeper Caroline Suitch managed to keep the Dukes scoreless in the second half with seven saves after recording only one save in the first half.

“We definitely won the second half,” Bell said. “We really picked up our fight, and we will take that with us with all of our games.

“It’s good knowing that we can come back, and, with just a little bit of extra work, we can come back even further.”

Prior to yesterday’s defeat, the Flashes opened the season Friday against Saint Louis.

The Flashes went on a scoring streak that started 2:54 into the opening game when Bell scored on an assist from Wilkins. The final score of the game was 7-0.

Also scoring for Kent State were Wilkins, junior midfielder Rachel Miller and junior forward Nicole Leach.

The Flashes’ defense kept the Billikens from making a shot attempt all game. That was the first time Kent State held a team without a shot since 2000, also against the Billikens.

“These two games this weekend are in the books, and now we are going to move forward to the teams out in California,” Schanne said.

The field hockey team travels to California Thursday for a three-game stretch to take on Pacific, California and Stanford.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].