Flashes hoping to earn first win

Matt Gottfried

The battle between the Mid-American Conference’s only two winless field hockey teams, Kent State and Missouri State, ensures at least one thing: Someone is going to emerge with their first victory of the season.

Fortunately for the Flashes, history is on their side.

Kent State has yet to lose to Missouri State in six total meetings. The Flashes are 0-9 overall and 0-1 MAC, yet five of those losses were by one point.

In its inagural season in the MAC, Missouri State has dropped its first eight games of the season and is 0-1 in the conference.

Despite their successful history against Missouri State, DeVries assures her team is anything but overlooking the Bears.

“Even though we have never lost to them, they are still a strong team,” DeVries said. “They don’t have any big name players or anything, but they are taught very well. “

The Flashes will need to compensate for the Bear’s Astroturf surface as well, DeVries said. The surface causes a slower game, and DeVries said its important the Flashes get an early lead.

As in their home opener against No. 9 Michigan, the Flashes got an early 2-0 lead but were unable to maintain it in the 4-3 loss.

Sunday they will play a similar team, as they host No. 8 Indiana.

The Hoosiers head into the game with a 9-1 record.

“We feel familiar with this Indiana team,” said DeVries. “They are similar to Michigan in that they have a number of skillful players.”

As the midway point of the season nears, a number of players have improved their game significantly.

Freshmen midfielder/backs Stephanie Bernthal and Gina Uguccioni were among the first noted by DeVries, as well as sophomore goalkeeper Kara Copeland and junior midfielder Liz Fettrow.

“I’ve been very pleased with the progress those girls have made, not to mention Elizabeth Lahey and Kate Perry,” DeVries said. “Lahey is a fierce competitor who takes responsibility for what happens on the field, she has really matured. Perry has played consistent all year and is a leader on this team.”

But many questions have been raised as to why the Flashes have yet to post a win.

“Everyone is asking if we are OK, if there is something wrong with us because we have yet to win a game,” DeVries said. “Well there is nothing wrong. We’ve played some real tough teams and we are getting better, our record just doesn’t reflect that.”

Yet, DeVries added that the team has yet to come together.

“It seems like we are just reluctant to trust each other, but we are beginning to realize each other’s strengths” she said. “Once the team begins to work together and improves upon their personal weaknesses, we should get things rolling in the MAC.”

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