After honoring seniors, field hockey win in final home game

Jeff Russ

The Kent State field hockey team defeated Missouri State 4-1 at Murphy-Mellis Field Saturday in an important conference game.

The Flashes (11-7, 6-3 MAC) fell behind early in its final home game of the season when Missouri State’s Melissa Millin scored her third goal of the season.

Kent State freshman forward Nicole Leach answered with her first of two goals and tied the game. Freshman forward Rachel Miller then scored her 11th goal of the season to give the Flashes the 2-1 lead at halftime.

“I thought (Leach) did a great job today,” Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne said. “Our entire front line did a great job today. I think some of their passing combinations and execution was tremendous.”

Schanne said it was important to put away the Bears in the second half.

“I talked at halftime (about) how it was important that we have 35 minutes here, and I need your complete emotions,” she said. “And they responded in the second half.”

Miller scored her second goal of the day and her 12th of the season halfway through the second half. It was a hard line drive shot she blasted right pass the Missouri State goalkeeper.

The Flashes scored again 41 seconds later on Leach’s second goal of the day, and the Flashes defense held on for the 4-1 victory.

“I thought I played a lot better today than I have been playing,” Leach said. “Everything seemed to connect, and we put it all together. We may have been down early, but everything worked out in the end.”

After the game, Schanne said she was impressed with the way the team rebounded from Friday’s 5-3 loss to Ohio.

“(Friday) was a hard fight. Today was a game you could trip on and we didn’t,” Schanne said. “The trip could take a lot out of you, but I thought we responded well.”

With only two games remaining, the team agrees every game is important as the season winds down.

“Oh, these games are very important,” Leach said. “We want to get a top-two seed and a first round bye going into the tournament.”

The Flashes travel to Central Michigan next Saturday. The two teams are tied for second in the MAC with a 6-3 conference record. A Kent State win would clinch a top-two spot and a first-round tournament bye for the MAC championship.

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