Miami ‘out for blood’ against Kent State

Matt Gottfried

After fighting through seven road games, four one-point losses and four ranked opponents, Kent State field hockey will finally make its way home this weekend.

While the Flashes are off to one of the worst starts in the history of the program, Kent State coach Kerry DeVries said the team’s time away has made them stronger.

“I enjoy being with the team on the road,” she said. “I think road trips help the team to bond together. There are no distractions and it helps the team to get to know each other better. But we are definitely excited to be able to play on our own new home surface. We’ve been dreaming about playing on this new beautiful facility.”

The Flashes (0-7) begin Mid-American Conference play at Miami (3-4) at 2 p.m. today. The Flashes have defeated Miami of Ohio in their last 19 meetings.

Though the Flashes had a rough start, DeVries said she didn’t feel a need to adjust the lineup or make any dramatic adjustments to the way her team approaches the upcoming weekend.

“Miami is a very quick, high attacking, high defending defense,” DeVries said. “They always play a very high press because of their speed, and they are very well coached.”

The Flashes, however, will be ready for the RedHawks. DeVries said the team has been working hard this week in preparation for the upcoming weekend, and has had multiple practices in one day.

Despite winning the last 19 meetings between the two teams, Miami gave the Flashes a run for their money in each of their three games last season.

“Last year Miami took us into overtime three times,” DeVries said. “They are out for blood, so we have to come out hungry and remember everything we’ve learned the last seven games.”

As for its approach in slowing down the RedHawks, expect a fast-paced game from goal line to goal line. One of the Flashes’ strengths this year is speed, and it’s something they will look to utilize this afternoon, DeVries said.

“We need to have a solid press, playing unified from the forward line all the way back to the goalkeeper,” DeVries said. “We’ll have to have everyone on attack and everyone on defense to ensure we don’t have any problems in transition. We must believe in each other, that’s something we’ve struggled with all year.”

Sunday will not only mark the home opener for the Flashes but also the inaugural game at the newly completed Kent State Field Hockey Complex. The stadium, which consists of a state-of-the-art turf and field cannons designed specifically for field hockey by Sportexe , is expected to be finished just in time for Sunday’s game against No. 9 Michigan.

“This complex is amazing,” DeVries said. “The fact that this university has taken so much pride in the sport of field hockey, to have a facility like this, is unbelievable. I really thank Mel Mellis for his donation to make our dreams come true.”

Mellis is the Chairman of Kent State University Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises and manages charitable funds for the benefit of the university, according to e-Inside, Kent State University’s faculty and staff newsletter.

Kent State will look to make those dreams a reality on Sunday, when it attempts to end Michigan’s (5-3) five-game winning streak. The Flashes did not play Michigan last season but did lose to them 3-0 in 2003. The non-conference game begins at noon.

“On any given day the Kent State field hockey team can beat anyone,” DeVries said. “As other opponents have said to me about scouting reports they’ve received, this team is a talented group, but they haven’t learned to play together yet. Once we gel together, we can really take some big opponents down.”

Contact field hockey reporter Matt Gottfried at [email protected].