Season-High Eight Goals Leads No. 17 Kent State Past Ball State 8-2 In MAC Opener
Golden Flashes win fourth straight conference opener
KENT, Ohio — The No. 17 Kent State field hockey team lived up to its national ranking by scoring a season-high eight goals today in an 8-2 victory over visiting Ball State in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams. The Golden Flashes have now won three of their last four games improving to 5-4 overall and 1-0 in the MAC. The Cardinals fell to 3-4 and 0-1 with the loss.
The offensive outburst came from all across the Kent State roster as six different players scored goals and another three players added assists. Seniors Nicole Leach (San Diego, Calif./Mira Mesa) and Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia/MacKillop College) did the bulk of the damage for KSU scoring two goals each.
"We had a real balanced attack today and it was good to see everyone getting involved with the offense," said Head Coach Kathleen (Schanne) Wiler. "This was a team effort all the way around."
The Golden Flashes have now won four straight MAC openers and host Miami on Sunday. The Redhawks lost at Ohio 2-1 in overtime today.
"It is always good to start out conference play with a win, but now we have to refocus and turn the attention to getting ourselves ready to play Miami tomorrow," said Wiler.
Leach started the scoring in the 19th minute when she put Kent State on the board from three yards out off an inside pass from junior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato). The Golden Flashes then went into halftime up 2-0 when junior Amanda Hoffman (Allentown, Pa./William Allen) scored in the final seconds of the first half. Freshman Rebecca Lee (Bathurst, Australia/The Scots School) set up the goal with her aggressiveness forcing a Ball State turnover on the right sideline and then finding Hoffman in the center of the circle with just 10 seconds remaining in the period.
In the second half Kent State racked up five goals opening up a 6-0 advantage before Ball State finally got on the scoreboard. Miller scored the first second period goal followed by a score from senior Katie George (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara), her second of the season. In the 53rd minute junior Amy Wimsatt (Louisville, Ky./Mercy Academy) punched in her first career score just inside the left post when she deflecting in a sharp pass from Bell. Just over a minute later Leach notched her second of the game off a long pass from freshman Sabrina Binder (Krefeld, Geremy/Arndt-Gymnasium).
In the 62nd minute KSU freshman Alyssa McFerren (Gibbsboro, N.J./Eastern) answered the Cardinals first score of the game with the first score of her career. McFerren fired a shot into the left side from 10 yards out. Ball State added another goal in the 66th minute before Miller closed out the scoring as time expired.
The Golden Flashes outshot the Cardinals 27-9, but penalty corners stood even at 7-7.