Field hockey loses to Ball State in overtime shootout

Jeff Russ

The Kent State field hockey team lost an overtime shootout 5-4 to Ball State yesterday in front of a large crowd at Murphy-Mellis Field.

The Flashes jumped out to an early 1-0 lead two minutes into the game on freshman forward Rachel Miller’s 10th goal of the season. Miller also had two goals Saturday in a win over Miami.

Ball State’s Brooke MacGillivary scored her first of four goals on the day midway through the first half to tie the game.

Kent State sophomore forward Laurie Wilkins then knocked the ball into the net off a tremendous cross pass from sophomore Allison Kittleberger. Wilkins was right back in the net less then a minute later, scoring off a breakaway, and as Kent State took a 3-1 lead into half-time.

Wilkins had her best game as a Golden Flash. She scored three goals on the day, one more than she had all season.

“Laurie has improved so much,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “But our entire line played its best games this weekend.”

MacGillivary’s second goal of the game cut the Flashes lead to 3-2 early in the second half. Schanne considered this goal a swing in the momentum.

“The turning point for us when it was 3-1 at half-time,” she said. “The turning point was who scored that next goal, and it was not us, and it needed to be.”

Wilkins and MacGillivary exchanged goals and the game was 4-3 Flashes late in the second half.

Ball State’s Lauren Cruz tied the game late in the half, and the Flashes could not capitalize on late corner opportunities, and the game went into overtime.

In overtime, neither team was able to create any opportunities until Ball State was able to beat senior goalie Kara Copeland.

Schanne said any loss is tough, but she was able to see positives.

“Our effort is there, our fight is there,” she said. “Four goals today — excellent. We had beautiful corner goals, and that’s what we’ve been working on. We just need to capitalize on all our opportunities.”

The Flashes fall to 10-6 on the season and 5-2 in the Mid-American Conference. They find themselves in a battle for a top-two spot in the conference going into the final two weekends of the season.

“We haven’t won anything yet. We are coming to the end but still have a lot of games to play,” Schanne said. “We are already focused on Ohio and looking forward to a full week of practice.”

The team faces Ohio in a key battle for first place in the MAC Friday.

Contact field hockey reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].