Field hockey drops two, takes away positives

Chris Gates

The Kent State field hockey team (3-3) has a list of positives and negatives to sort out after losing to No. 8 Virginia 4-2 and No. 9 James Madison 1-0 this weekend.

“I think overall we’re really pleased with the way we’ve performed,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “We’re playing some really good field hockey right now.

“I think we’re doing some things really well and we still have some things we need to work on,” she added.

Kent State’s ability to be competitive with such highly ranked teams in Virginia has provided a list of positives for Schanne to bring back to Kent.

The Flashes were able to score on the Cavaliers twice. The Cavaliers had only allowed four goals in their previous five games, including two shutouts. Sophomore forward Nicole Leach was able to put two behind the Cavaliers’ goalkeeping duo of senior Amy Desjadon and sophomore Devon Burnley.

Against James Madison, Kent State was able to compete with a tight defensive squad. The Flashes managed to put seven shots on net, and were tied with the Dukes in shots at the half.

“We absolutely ran with both teams,” Schanne said. “We got some goals on the board, and I think we’re playing some really good hockey.”

Along with the positives, Schanne said the weekend has also given the team a list of improvements to make.

“Coming off the top-10 competition this weekend and seeing where we are with that, we have to work on finishing the ball and putting the ball in the back of the net,” Schanne said.

Schanne said missed opportunities throughout the weekend hurt the Flashes, but players were up beat after playing the talented teams.

“It felt good,” sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Sutich said about playing top competition. “I wish we would have come out with a win. But I thought we fought hard. I just wish we could’ve come out on top.”

Against Virginia, the Flashes got an early lead on Leach’s first goal of the game just 3:10 into the contest. However, the Cavaliers scored two goals before halftime and took a 2-1 lead into the break.

Leach tied the game with her second goal coming early in the second, but Virginia once again followed her goal with two of its own to win.

On Sunday, James Madison did what it has done all season, shutting out the Flashes, earning its third shutout of the season. The first half went scoreless, and both teams were even in shots with five.

However, the Dukes opened up the game in the second half with 10 shots to Kent State’s two. In the ninth minute of the second half, sophomore midfield/forward Dolores de Rooij scored the eventual game-winner from the left side of the net.

“I thought we played really well,” Suitch said about the weekend. “We executed pretty well. We built a lot from last week to this week. I thought we held our own and played really well against some top 10 teams.”

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].

Weekend Results

Saturday: Kent State 2 – Virginia 4

Sunday: Kent State 0 – James Madison

• Nicole Leach scored Kent State’s only goals of the weekend, making her third on the team in scoring with three goals and six points.