Flashes split first two MAC games over weekend

Chris Gates

Kent State field hockey follows CMU win on Saturday with 1-0 loss to Ohio yesterday

Sophomore Midfielder, Bryn Stevens prepares to shoot a goal against Ohio on Sunday. The Flashes won 1-0. Adam Cade | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

With first place in the Mid-American Conference on the line yesterday against Ohio, the Kent State field hockey team lost 1-0 to Ohio, snapping its three-game win streak and dropping the team to 1-1 in the conference.

Ohio scored the lone goal on a second-half corner. With just under 18 minutes to play, Ohio senior Nikki Gnozzio got the rebound off her initial corner shot and put it behind Kent State goalkeeper Caroline Suitch.

“I made the first save and couldn’t get up in time for the second one,” Suitch said.

” … I just wish I could have made a second save.”

The majority of shots on goal came off corners, with Ohio having a 9-to-3 corner advantage. Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said corners weren’t the problem for the Flashes (6-4, 1-1 MAC), though – executing in the offensive zone was.

Game notes:

• Not ringing the scoring Bell

Freshman Debbie Bell was held scoreless yesterday for the first time since Sept. 14 at James Madison. Bell leads the Flashes with 22 points on 11 goals.

• Better than their record

Ohio’s win lifts the Bobcats to 4-5-0, a deceiving record considering their only losses this season came against ranked teams.

• A home anomaly

Kent State lost to Ohio at Murphy-Mellis Field for the first time since the 2001 season.

“I just think overall we had some chances, and it’s just important that we execute and be ruthless inside our attacking 25- (yard line),” Schanne said. “That’s something that was missing today.”

The loss to Ohio came after the Flashes opened MAC play with a 4-3 win over Central Michigan on Saturday.

Freshman forward Debbie Bell scored two goals in the Flashes’ 4-3 win, giving her seven goals in the past three games. This season, Kent State is 6-0 when Bell scores and 0-4 when she doesn’t.

Sophomores Kara Rhodenbaugh and Nicole Leach added goals in the win.

Despite their inability to sweep the opening weekend in the MAC, the players are confident they played their game.

“I thought we did well,” Suitch said. “We played really well (Saturday), and we played well (yesterday). We’ll see next time we play (Ohio) if we can become a new team.

“We can’t get down on ourselves once they score. We just have to keep working hard and build from this game.”

Schanne said she was proud of the way the defense played on Sunday.

“I thought we played some really nice field hockey,” Schanne said. “I felt there were some beautiful combinations. I thought we had some excellent, excellent defending. I’m really pleased with the way they played.”

The Flashes will see almost all MAC opponents the rest of the way. Only one non-conference game remains, against Michigan on Oct. 19.

A chance to make up for the Ohio loss is not far away, either. Kent State will travel to Athens to face the Bobcats for a second time in just 11 days, on Oct. 10.

“It’s a loss, but we see them again, maybe even twice,” Suitch said. “(We need to) keep working harder and get them the next two times.”

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].