Team still looking for first win

Matt Gottfried

Once again, missed opportunities and the inability to come up with some late key goals doomed the Kent State field hockey team this weekend as the Flashes (0-5) dropped another one-point heartbreaker to Syracuse (2-3) on Friday night.

Junior forward Kate Perry provided the bulk of the Flashes’ offensive attack, erupting for two goals in the opening half of the game, the first of which came just two minutes into the game to hand Kent State a 1-0 lead. The Orangemen responded with 9:10 left in the first to tie the game at 1-1, but freshman forward Melanie Bierens de Haan abruptly responded one minute later to regain the lead.

After Syracuse responded with two unanswered goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead, Perry countered with her second goal of the half to send the contest into half-time with a 3-3 score. From that point on, the offensive barrage generated from both squads slowed mightily, as the game’s fourth and final goal came at the 48-minute mark in the second.

The loss sent the Flashes into one of the worst starts since the 1994 season. The loss is, however, Kent State’s third-straight loss to a ranked team or to a team that received votes in last year’s final National Field Hockey Coaches Association Top 20 poll. In each of the past two years, the Flashes started their season with 2-5 records due in large part to one of the toughest schedules in the nation, a trend coach Kelly DeVries has stuck with ever since developing the program into one of the country’s best.

On Saturday night Kent State’s fate experienced much the same, as they fell to William and Mary (3-2) 7-2. The Tribe is the same team that finished at the number five rank in last season’s polls.

The Flashes’ two lone goals of the game came from the junior duo of forward Elizabeth Lahey and midfielder Berber Rischen, but that was all they could muster offensively against the defensive powerhouse.

The upcoming weekend won’t be any kinder to the Flashes as well, as they take on two teams that were ranked in the top 10 last year. On Friday, Kent State will battle non-conference foe Wake Forest. The Flashes will then look to avenge a 2-1 loss endured last season to the then number-one ranked Michigan State on Saturday.

Both non-conference games will be the last such played this season before the Flashes open up Mid-American Conference play against Miami on Sept. 23 in Oxford.

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