Field hockey plays for first-round bye

Jeff Russ

The Kent State field hockey team starts its final weekend of the regular season tomorrow, when the team travels to Central Michigan in what may be the most important game of the season.

The Flashes, (11-7, 6-3 Mid-American Conference), are currently in second place in the MAC, and a win would give the team a first round bye in next week’s MAC tournament.

“It’s very simple, if we win we’ll get that second seed,” senior midfielder Charlotte Muller said. “We want that bye, so this is a very, very important game.”

There are six teams in the MAC. The top two seeds will not play until next Friday while the lower four seeds will start Thursday. The team said the first-round bye is really important.

“It allows us to have more time to practice on the field while we prepare for the championship,” senior midfielder Anna McComb said. “It would only take two games to win the tournament, and mentally, it gives us an advantage and an upperhand.”

The Flashes fell to Central Michigan 4-1 Oct. 6 at Murphy-Mellis Field. The team still has a chip on its shoulder from the loss.

“We’re all pretty mad because we lost to them last time,” freshman forward Nicole Leach said. “Playing them once helps us, and we really want to beat them this time.”

Leach looks to carry on her good play from last weekend. She had a goal in a loss to Ohio and two goals in a win over Missouri State.

She and fellow freshman Stephanie Arbelaez are from San Diego, and fortunately their families were not harmed in the recent wildfires in the San Diego area.

Also this week, Muller was selected to play in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Senior All-Star Game.

“It’s a really big honor, I’m real happy about it,” Muller said. “But again it’s because of the team, they make you play well.”

Muller teammates appreciate the respect, and they are happy for her.

“Congratulations to Charlotte,” McComb said. “She has been such a key to our team and a great leader. I think she more than deserves it and we all love her.”

Contact sports reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].