Flashes win two, alone in first place

Chris Gates

Field hockey wins over Ohio, Missouri State

Sophomore midfielder Bryn Stevens fights off a Missouri State player while playing yesterday. The Flashes won 2-1 and will travel to Central Michigan Friday. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

After an emotional 3-0 win at Ohio on Friday, the Kent State field hockey team returned home yesterday to play what coach Kathleen Schanne called “a trap game.”

The Flashes avoided the trap, beating Missouri State 2-1 at Murphy-Mellis Field.

Schanne said she was worried that one of two things would occur: the team would dwell on the previous win or would look ahead to the next weekend. Despite the 2-1 win, Schanne saw several areas where the team needs to improve.

“I, overall, wasn’t pleased with the performance,” Schanne said. “I think it was a wake-up call. (But) I think coming out with a win is great.”

The good, she said, came from what the team learned in the win.

“Hard work, effort and energy – you have to do it,” Schanne said. “You can never get complacent. There are non-negotiable things that have to come with every day of practice and the game plan as well.”

Missouri State scored early in the first half, forcing the Flashes to play from behind against a team they had only lost to once in six previous games. The Bears earned a corner and senior forward Alyssa Hile redirected the initial shot past Kent State goalkeeper Caroline Suitch to make the score 1-0 eight minutes into the game.

Just over six minutes later, junior forward Natalie Barrett scored off a corner to tie the game. Barrett found the rebound and slapped it in past Missouri State’s goalkeeper Jessica Schuster.

“I was just there to put it in the net,” Barrett said. “Everyone worked well in their positions, so it was a team effort.”

The game-winner came at the 26:33 mark from sophomore midfielder Rachel Miller. Miller carried the ball down the field, cut to the right and shot across her body, finding the back left corner of the goal.


A silent Bell

The Flashes won their first game of the season without a Debbie Bell goal yesterday. To that point, the Flashes were 9-0 when Bell scored and 0-4 when she failed to do so.

It’s Miller time

Rachel Miller led the Flashes in points over the weekend with six, recording two goals and two assists. She now places second on the team in scoring behind Bell.

Another Suitch Shutout

Sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Suitch blanked Ohio on Friday, leading to her fourth shutout of the season. Her season goals-against average dropped to 1.33 over the weekend.

From that point, the defense contained Missouri State’s attack, continuing the Flashes’ recent trend. The Bears’ goal was only the second allowed by Kent State in its past four games. A rather standard approach in practice has led to the success, Schanne said.

“The details are what win games,” she said. “We’ve also concentrated on sustaining attack.”

That offensive pressure was effective in Athens on Friday, as the Flashes scored three goals against the Bobcats. Miller recorded one goal and two assists in the game.

“We did well against (Ohio),” Barrett said. “That was a really big win for us. (Yesterday), we were obviously pleased we got the win, but we know we can play better.”

Despite her frustration over the team’s play on Sunday, Schanne said she was happy to get two wins out of the weekend. With their win over Ohio, and Miami’s loss to Central Michigan, the Flashes are alone at the top of the MAC standings.

“Overall, I’m happy with the weekend,” Schanne said. “We’re getting the wins, we’re pushing through and that’s important.”

Players said they were pleased as well, but they know the upcoming week of practice is needed to focus for the task ahead.

“We have a tough game next weekend against (Central Michigan), so we just have to have a good week of practice,” Barrett said. “We have things to improve on, so we just have to fight hard this week and get ready to go for next week.”

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].