Weekend win secures tourney bye

Jeff Russ

The Kent State field hockey team secured a first-round bye in the Mid-American Conference Saturday with a 1-0 win over Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant, Mich., during the last weekend of the regular season.

“I’m just really pleased with the way we played this weekend,” coach Kathleen Schanne said. “We outshot them, we had some beautiful passing plays and defensive attacks.”

Both teams played well defensively in the first half, and the two teams went into halftime tied at zero. In the first half Central Michigan didn’t even get one shot attempt.

“We played really well as a defense today,” Schanne said. “We played good team defense, and we were really structured as a defense.”

In the second half, the Golden Flashes got on the board for the only goal of the game when sophomore forward Laurie Wilkins scored her seventh goal of the season off a rebound from senior forward Anna McComb’s shot.

Schanne has said all season that she is impressed with the play of her young forwards, and this weekend was no exception.

“The offense is creating a lot more opportunities as the season goes on,” she said. “It’s a complete team effort. They will definitely help as the tournament gets started.”

As the game progressed, the Flashes defense only allowed Central Michigan to get off two shots as the clock wound down, and the Flashes preserved the shutout.

Senior goalie Kara Copeland had her fourth shutout of the season. It was the third time this season the Flashes won a 1-0 game. The game resembled how the Flashes have been on defense all season.

“All along this season, everyone has been focused on committing to the process of our defense,” Schanne said. “Everyone on this team is doing their part and giving their commitment on defense.”

The Flashes end MAC play at 7-3, second in the MAC. The win means the team will get a first-round bye in this week’s MAC tournament at Miami in Oxford. It will automatically go to the semifinals and wait until Friday to play its first game.

“I’m just really pleased to have a first-round bye,” Schanne said. “It definitely is going to help us out this week, give us an extra day to prepare and I am ready for the tournament.”

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Jeff Russ at [email protected].