Kent State Stays In MAC Title Hunt With 3-2 Win At Miami
Golden Flashes split season series with RedHawks
OXFORD, Ohio — The Kent State field hockey team stayed in the hunt for a third straight Mid-American Conference regular season title with a pivotal 3-2 win at Miami this afternoon. Having now split the season series, the Golden Flashes and RedHawks are tied for second in the league at 4-2 and trail Ohio (5-1) by one game.
An opportunistic Kent State (9-6) won for the fourth time in the last five games. Like they did in the first meeting this season, a 4-3 overtime win by Miami, the Golden Flashes jumped out to an early lead. Only this time they held on to snap a three-game losing streak to the RedHawks.
The KSU offense generated two goals out of six penalty corner attempts in the first half. Senior Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia/MacKillop College) struck first when she scored on a pass from junior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) in the 17th minute. Junior Carla Johl (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) extended the lead to 2-0 just before the end of the period. Johl's goal was her third of the year and came off a pass from Miller in the 33rd minute.
The momentum continued in the second half as freshman Rebecca Lee (Bathurst, Australia/The Scots School) scored from the center of the circle less than two minutes after halftime off a pass from senior Nicole Leach (San Diego, Calif./Mira Mesa).
Miami (9-6), which overcame a 2-0 deficit in the first meeting, started mounting a comeback in the 42nd minute when Christine Brightwell scored on one of the RedHawks seven penalty corner attempts in the second half. With 14 minutes remaining Kate Snyder scored on another corner to cut the Golden Flashes lead to 3-2.
The Kent State defense would then fend off four more corners and three shots in the final 10 minutes to preserve the victory. Senior goalie Caroline Suitch (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) made two of her six saves down the stretch while the other MU attempt was blocked.
For the game, penalty corners were even at 8-8 while KSU held a 17-14 edge in shots taken.
The Golden Flashes complete the weekend on Sunday when they travel to Muncie, Ind. to face Ball State at 1:00 p.m.