Flashes stray from victory

Doug Gulasy

Freshman Rachel Miller winces after missing a pass yesterday during the team’s match against No. 5 Michigan. The team lost 3-1 continuing a 22-year dry spell against the Wolverines. Kent State’s only goal was from Charlotte Muller. GAVIN JACKSON | DAIL

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State field hockey team had already defeated two Big Ten teams in Ohio State and Northwestern this season, and the Flashes were trying to make it a hat trick by defeating Michigan.

However, the fifth-ranked Wolverines didn’t accommodate Kent State’s hopes, beating the Flashes 3-1 yesterday at Murphy-Mellis Field.

“We played No. 11 Ohio (at home) on Sunday and got a win from them,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “So I think we were looking forward and looking to do that (yesterday) and just came up a little bit short.”

The Flashes shut out Ohio University on Sunday, but the Wolverines made sure that wouldn’t happen to them by scoring just 32 seconds into the game.

Schanne said lack of organization played a part in the early goal, which Michigan player Kelly Fitzpatrick scored in transition, but added that she was pleased with the way her team bounced back from it.

“I really love the way we responded,” she said. “It was like a wake-up call. We started stepping up, we started stepping to them – it’s unfortunate that (the goal) happened, but we responded well.”

The Flashes responded by tying the game nearly 20 minutes into the first half, when senior Charlotte Muller scored her fifth goal of the season off a penalty corner.

“It was a little bit of a broken corner,” Muller said. “(Freshman) Rachel (Miller) took it in, and I saw that she was getting cut off in the middle. I was on her left side, so I just called for her, and she passed it to me. I just swept it in, hoping for a touch, and it actually went into the goal.”

Not long after Muller’s goal, things got a little bizarre.

The Flashes found themselves battling a new opponent when a dog, apparently a stray, invaded the field and eluded capture for a few minutes before running off.

When play resumed, the Wolverines broke the tie, scoring with just over two minutes remaining before half-time and taking a 2-1 lead into the break.

“It’s hard knowing that you’re one goal behind, but it makes you want to play even harder,” Muller said. “You know you can get back because it’s only one goal.”

The one-goal lead became two when Michigan scored again about halfway through the second half, providing the final margin of victory.

This weekend, the Flashes will return to action by hosting Miami on Saturday and Ball State on Sunday. Both games will begin at 1 p.m. at Murphy-Mellis Field.

Muller said the Flashes would need to take care of the ball better to win games in the future, which Schanne said was mostly a problem in the offensive end.

“I think we got in (the offensive circle) when we could win a penalty corner or take a goal shot, and we are kind of turning it over to the other team,” Schanne said. “So we just need to really be dogged and determined to score when we get in that circle.”

For an example of determination, the Flashes need to look no further than a certain stray dog.

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].