Flashes hit the road for conference play

Chris Gates

KSU field hockey

Sophomore midfielder Katie George has her eye on the ball as she rumbles around with a player from Ohio. Though the Flashes lost to OU 0-1 last Sunday, they were able to beat Central Michigan 4-3 earlier that weekend. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Offense is the main concern for the Kent State field hockey team, as it plays its first Mid-American Conference away games of the season this weekend.

The Flashes are hoping to erase the memory of Sunday’s 1-0 loss at home to Ohio. The loss caused Kent State to fall out of a tie for first place in the MAC, and it also dropped the team from receiving 34 votes in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Top 20 Poll to eight.

Being shut out against Ohio led to an offensive focus in practice all week.

“I really would say sharpening up our ruthlessness inside the 25-yard line has been our focus this week,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “We’ve been really trying to continue to work on finishing and just sustaining attack inside the 25-yard line. It’s going to be key against both opponents this weekend.”

Junior forward Natalie Barrett echoed Schanne’s thoughts about the need for offensive improvement.


KENT STATE (6-4, 1-1

Mid-American Conference)

at MIAMI (7-2, 3-0)

and BALL STATE (1-8, 0-1)

Where: Oxford and Muncie, IN

When: 11 a.m. tomorrow

and 1 p.m. Sunday

“We were working a lot this week on finishing,” Barrett said.

“(We’re) trying to score more goals and to get more opportunities in cage. That was our biggest thing that let us down last weekend.”

Tomorrow, the Flashes will face a team with a strong offense. Miami (7-2, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) is averaging 3.56 goals and nearly 19 shots a game. Opposing teams haven’t fared well against the Red Hawks either. Opponents have combined to score 16 goals in 9 games, an average of 1.78 per game.

“Right now, Miami rests at the top of the table, so it’s definitely going to be a big game,” Barrett said. ” . We’re just looking ahead and thinking positive and (will) hopefully get a result.”

Sunday, the team will travel to Muncie, Ind., to face a Ball State team who has not won in over a month since beating Davidson 2-0 on Aug. 31. The Cardinals (1-8, 0-1) have been doubled up in shots on goal thus far this season, 106-50, and have averaged 1.44 goals per game.

The Flashes are trusting that their practice during the week will translate to game situations.

“It’s crunch time,” Barrett said. “Everyone is really focused. (The MAC schedule) is the main time that we have to perform.

“Hopefully this weekend we can get two (wins).”

As always, the Flashes are excited about the challenge of playing away from home, which is what Schanne said makes the team unique.

“Just like any other road game, going on the road is always challenging . to win on the road and play on someone else’s home turf,” Schanne said. “Actually, this team really likes it. They love going on the road, they love playing on the road. So we’re excited about it.”

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].