Flashes go 1-1 on the weekend

Tyler McIntosh

Senior forward Katie Perry charges unassisted to the goal and scores the winning point against Michigan State. STEVEN MANTILLA | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

Days after being shut out by No. 1 Wake Forest 7-0, the Kent State field hockey team beat Michigan State 3-2. This was Kent State’s first victory against a Big Ten team since 2002.

The weekend started poorly for Kent State when it was unable to overcome a rough start against Wake Forest (9-0). However, the slow start was not entirely due to Wake Forest’s defense. Kent State (2-6) hurt its chances of winning as much as any opposing defense

could have.

“We kind of came out a little flat in the first five minutes of the game,” coach Kathleen Schanne said. “That just affected us from the start. I don’t think they did anything to stop us. When we started to play and compete we got two corners and some goal shots.”

Wake Forest took advantage of Kent State’s early troubles and tallied three goals in the first 10 minutes of play.

“Wake Forest is a lot better than Duke or Iowa,” Schanne said. “They definitely deserve that top ranking.”

The Flashes regrouped after the bad start and began to cause some problems for the Demon Deacons’ offense.

“We were playing a 50-yard press and we came up with a lot of interceptions. And that was part of our game plan,” Schanne said. “We did some real nice things after we came out of our funk. We started to draw some corners and force a lot of Wake Forest turnovers. They were hitting the ball off the sidelines left and right.”

Junior back Charlotte Muller said they weren’t organized from the start. “After our time out we picked it up more and started communicating,” she said.

Kent State would give up two more goals in the half. Wake Forest took a 5-0 lead into halftime.

The Flashes stepped up their defense in the second half and only allowed two more goals. The improved defense was credited to the backs finally starting to play together.

“The backfield started communicating so much better,” Muller said. “They had fast forwards which made us step on our toes. They were switching all the time so we picked up our communication. We never did that in previous games.”

But Kent State could never get its offense started. The team managed just two shots the entire game and the game finished 7-0.

Schanne was not concerned about the loss lingering in her player’s minds. She said that she was excited to see how her team would respond after the loss.

“We challenged them in the locker room about how they were going to respond after the Wake Forest game,” Schanne said.

The Flashes wasted no time answering Schanne’s challenge. Despite having 16 shots in the first half, Michigan State only managed to convert two of those shots into goals. The Flashes were ecstatic with their defensive performance.

“This is the first game our defense has played as a whole,” senior forward Elizabeth Lahey said. “We were strong and played in front of the offense to take the ball instead of waiting behind them and reacting. We were more proactive today.”

Lahey, who scored her second and third goals of the year, provided the offense for Kent State in the first half.

“On the first goal I saw that Natalie Barrett went to receive the ball,” Lahey said. “Instead it came right at me and I just put it in. It was a reaction. I was just in the right position on the second one. We had a good push out and the ball was flat on the ground. I just put my stick out and tapped it in.”

Senior forward Kate Perry scored her fifth goal of the season to break the 2-2 tie early in the second half. The goal came when Perry rebounded a shot by senior midfielder Liz Fettrow.

“We called a double slip left off of our first corner,” Schanne said. “We executed it beautifully and it went in. We’ve been practicing it all week.”

Kent State held onto its 3-2 lead for the rest of the game to give Kent State their second win of the season. Schanne said that this weekend’s games are all part of the continuous learning process.

“They are learning how to be disciplined and stick to a game plan,” Schanne said. “That is a very hard thing to do. When we do it we are excellent, but we have to stay disciplined. We keep fighting until the end. I can’t ask for anything more. They want it.”

Kent State will take on Miami (3-5) 3 p.m. Friday at Murphy Mellis field to open their Mid-American Conference season.

Contact field hockey reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].