Column: Other reasons to cheer for Flashes

Sean Ammerman

With football off this week at Kent State, it got me thinking about some of the other sports on campus.

This year, I have used a lot of column space talking about the football team and its newfound success. Perhaps this makes some sports feel left out.

The reality is that in college, in the Midwest and in the fall, football is king. I’m sure a large portion of our country overlooked the first game of the World Series to watch college football Saturday night.

Plus, the fact that the Flashes are a winning football team is kind of a big deal.

The national media has even caught up to Kent State. In case you missed it, there was a feature in New York Times sports section about the Flashes yesterday.

Anyways, while the sports writers are smitten with a team that’s good for a change, we forget that there are other sports and other reasons to be a fan of Kent State athletics.

This won’t make up for everything, but here’s a brief run down of the rest of the Kent State sports teams.

The Kent State soccer team leads the Mid-American Conference in saves. For you non-soccer enthusiasts, a save is when the goalie prevents the ball from entering the goal. And senior goalie Alicia Fernandez has 104 of them.

The soccer team also leads the conference in fouls and yellow cards. I won’t bother explaining what those are, but let’s just say it means our team is the roughest and toughest in the MAC.

Maybe that’s not something to brag about, but I’m sure the other teams think about it when they come here to play.

The other fall sports are having a tough time breaking from the middle of their standings.

The field hockey team, typically one of the best programs at Kent State, is having trouble repeating its MAC regular season title from last year. The team currently sits in fifth place out of six teams, but the good news is that it is only three games out of second place. Its shut-out of conference foe Missouri State last weekend was a decent way to get things rolling.

The volleyball team has generated a 6-4 MAC record, which would be good enough to rank second in the MAC West Division. Unfortunately it is in the East, which puts it behind three of the top four teams in the conference, including unbeaten Bowling Green and Ohio.

Kent State junior libero Laura Jensen is this week’s MAC East Division Player of the Week for her 64 digs in two matches last weekend. With that she has 459 digs on the year, which breaks the school record of 456 she set in 2004.

By the way, a libero is a defensive specialist and a dig is a dive to prevent a spike

The cross country teams are still settling into the coaching change made before the season. Seniors Seth Hutchinson and Stephanie Blackstone, who was part of the women’s 2004 conference championship team, have assumed leadership roles. The teams can’t be counted out of the MAC Championships this weekend in Buffalo, NY.

So, while this is not the definitive non-football sports column, I hope it helps.

Contact assistant sports editor Sean Ammerman at [email protected].