Field Hockey: Simply the best KSU team

Chris Gates

There are very few students at Kent State that truly care about the university’s sports teams.

With that being said, it’s no surprise that virtually everybody missed out on the best team of the fall semester: Kent State field hockey.

To be honest, you’d be wise to catch on quick. This program is becoming a dynasty.

The Flashes posted a Mid-American Conference regular season title and tournament title, and produced an All-American in sophomore midfielder Rachel Miller.

The team also produced one of the greatest freshman seasons in the program’s history, as forward Debbie Bell scored 21 goals and a total of 46 points to lead the team and the conference.

Watching the Flashes was a joy for me, seeing that I got to witness the best spectator sport of the summer – much better than observing the Kent State football team allow 30-plus points a game and lose in repeated, heartbreaking fashion.

The team followed one slogan: “roll like a machine.” That’s just what they did, rattling off 11 straight wins before losing in a NCAA tournament play-in game to UMass.

Three of the team’s four losses came against opponents that spent time in the NFHCA Top 20 Poll. By the way, the Flashes spent time in the top 20 as well – the only ranked team during the fall at Kent State.

The list goes on.

A record seven players were selected to the All-MAC team. Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne was selected as MAC Coach of the Year. Bell was selected as MAC Freshman of the Year.

The season ended with the Flashes hoisting the conference trophy on their home turf, Murphy-Mellis Field.

That success should continue.

Of the 21 players on the roster, two are graduating. That’s right, two.

The top seven scorers on the team return next year. Starting goalkeeper Caroline Suitch returns as well. And to lead the team, Schanne earned herself a new contract extension.

If you want to witness success next fall, make it out to a field hockey game or two.

Heck, the players travel from all over the world to play here. If nothing else, come to hear them talk field hockey in Australian and New Zealand accents.

At first you’ll wonder what the hell is going on. But I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].