Kent State Powers Past Missouri State 5-3 In MAC Opener
Four different players score for the Golden Flashes
SPRINGFILED, Mo. — The Kent State field hockey team started its quest for fourth consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season crown in style on Friday afternoon posting a 5-3 victory over host Missouri State in the conference opener for both teams.
The Golden Flashes used a balanced scoring attack as four different players scored a goal. Sophomore Alyssa McFerren (Gibbsboro, N.J) helped lead the offense with one goal and two assists while senior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand) continued her prolific scoring adding her third multi-gaol game of the season.
Kent State (3-6; 1-0) wasted little time in getting the scoring started in its fifth consecutive conference opener victory. The game was just over three minutes old, when the Golden Flashes drew the first of their 12 penalty corners. Freshman Julia Hofmann (Bad Muenster, Germany) then delivered out of the opportunity with her second goal of the year off a pass from McFerrern for a 1-0 Kent State advantage.
"We executed our first corner well and anytime you are able to do that early in the game it helps builds confidence and momentum," said Kent State Head Coach Kathleen Wiler.
Missouri State (3-5; 0-1) attempted to stifle the early Kent State momentum when Hillary Lawless scored only two minutes later, but Bell answered right back for a 2-1 Golden Flashes lead in the 12th minute. Bell's score came out of another corner and was assisted by senior Amy Wimsatt (Louisville, Ky.) who extended her streak to four straight games with a point in the process.
Both teams began to settle into a back and forth flow of the game until the final five minutes of the first half when senior Amanda Hoffman (Allentown, Pa.) beat Missouri State goalie Andrea Bain with an unassisted goal. After halftime the scoring continued for Bell and the Golden Flashes as the MAC's leading scorer scored again off another McFerren assist when she dribbled into the circle past two defenders.
With Kent State now leading 4-1 and already two assists to her credit, McFerren scored her second career goal in the 44th minute. She becomes the ninth different player to score a goal in the nine games this season for the Golden Flashes.
"I was really proud of the way our team fought hard and came out ready to get the job done from the first pass back," said Wiler.
A penalty stroke by Missouri State's Sarah Bradley in the 46th minute and a penalty corner goal in the 51st minute from Reiann Stoute would the account for the final margin.
Freshman goalie Jahna Jordan (Fallbrook, Calif.) recorded five saves while picking up her third career win in the cage.
Corners were an even 12-12 while Missouri State held a 15-12 edge in shots taken.
Kent State will be on the road at Michigan State this Sunday in the final non-league game of the year before hosting conference opponents Miami and Ball State the weekend of Oct. 1-2.