Field hockey faces big weekend

Chris Gates

Flashes head to New York to square off with quality competition

Members of the field hockey team huddle up after beating Lock Haven 4-2 on Sept. 7. The Flashes are in Albany, N.Y., this weekend to play Vermont and Albany. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

As the Kent State field hockey team travels to Albany, N.Y., this weekend, the Flashes will be doing more than competing to improve in the standings. The weekend also will serve as a chance to become closer as a team.

Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said when the team goes on road trips, the players tend to bond. This weekend is the second in a row that the Flashes are away from Murphy-Mellis Field, and they will look to break a two-game losing streak.

“We’re definitely a family,” said Natalie Barrett, junior forward and co-captain of the team. “We’re all really close. On the long bus trips you tend to bond. We just hang out and watch movies. Everyone gets a different roommate in hotels . it’s definitely a way to bond with your teammates.”


KENT STATE (3-3) vs. VERMONT (3-2) and No.20 ALBANY (4-2)

Where: Albany, N.Y.

When: 7 p.m. today, 1 p.m. Sunday

The team said another positive of being away from home is the elimination of distractions. The Flashes have one thing to worry about, and that is the next opponent.

“I think they like going on the road just because they can really just focus on being with each other,” Schanne said. “Everything’s scheduled out. I think when (the team’s) at home, you do have other distractions.”

The team said eliminating distractions should be helpful, as the Flashes are set to endure another weekend of top competition. Last weekend, Kent State traveled to No. 8 Virginia and No. 7 James Madison, losing both games.

“Obviously it was a huge disappointment with the results,” Barrett said. “For this weekend we’re going to work on the aspects that we did well on all week in practice.”

Tonight the Flashes will take on Vermont at 7 p.m., followed by another top 20 matchup – this time against No. 20 Albany at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both opponents have yet to lose at home.

“These two teams are going to be very tough,” Barrett said. “We had a good week of practice, and we’re just all ready and focused (and) ready to go.”

Vermont (3-2) is familiar with tough matchups – its only losses came to No. 12 Boston College and No. 8 Virginia. The Catamounts also beat No. 18 Ohio State, a team the Flashes lost to in Columbus on Aug. 31.

Albany (4-2) is looking to improve upon a loss at No. 19 California in its last game. The Great Danes’ other loss was against No. 14 American.

Two wins will help the Flashes rise higher in the rankings. In this week’s STX/NFHCA Coaches Poll, Kent State received six votes, a significant drop from the 23 votes in the previous poll.

A win tonight will also prevent a three-game losing streak. The Flashes haven’t lost three in a row since a stretch from Oct. 13-16, 2006.

“If we just take care of ourselves and go out there positive and ready to go . hopefully we’ll get the results,” Barrett said. “It’s just going to be hard work. We just have to concentrate for the whole game.”

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].