Barrett paces Flashes

Jeff Russ

Junior forward leads team on the field and off

Junior Natalie Barrett prepares to hit the ball during the team’s game against Ohio last Tuesday. Barrett had one goal during the game and is the team’s leader in goals. GAVIN JACKSON | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

Midway through the second half of its season opener – as the field hockey team tried to hold on to its lead against Bucknell – a hard collision between Kent State junior forward Natalie Barrett and a Bucknell player left Barrett face down on the turf at the North Turf Field in Columbus.

Barrett, who had a goal and assist in the 3-2 loss, would get back in the game a few minutes later. Suffering from sore ribs, she would play the next day and score another goal and another assist in a 3-2 loss to Delaware.

Barrett and the rest of the team bounced back from the two early losses and is now 3-2. The Golden Flashes have won three games in a row over opponents Lock Haven, Pa. and Ohio State.

Barrett’s team-leading four goals and four assists are big reasons why the team has a winning record.

“Obviously I’m pleased with the way I have played,” Barrett said. “We’ve gotten a lot more scoring opportunities and a lot more goals. I’m pleased with the goals, but it is a total team effort when we score.”

Last season, Barrett scored six goals and had two assists. This season, she has taken on more of a leadership role and said she has grown a lot as a player.

“When I came here as a freshman I had a lot of seniors playing along side me and I learned a lot,” she said. “Now as a junior I have to take on more of a leadership role, and I try to lead by example, so hopefully they can learn from me and I can learn from them.”

During the team’s current three-game winning streak, Barrett scored two goals and had two assists. She had a goal and an assist in the team’s 3-0 win over Ohio State. Her coach, Kathleen Schanne, has noticed Barrett is more comfortable and confident in her new, expanded leadership roles.

“I think she’s gotten some invaluable experience,” Schanne said. “Last year she played in every game and she has scored a goal in six of her last seven games.”

Barrett missed a week of practice due to the sore ribs she suffered in the Bucknell game, but it did not keep her off the turf. She snuck in the huddle during practice and even tried to be on the field.

“You cannot keep her away,” Schanne said. “She wasn’t suppose to be on the field but she was sneaking in drills. That’s just who she is, she is a competitor.”

Contact sports reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].