Kent State Moves On To MAC Championship Game With 4-1 Win
Golden Flashes top Central Michigan in semifinals; MAC Title game Saturday at 1:00 pm
ATHENS, Ohio — Its on to the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game tomorrow afternoon for Kent State as a dominating second half led the Golden Flashes to a convincing 4-1 win over Central Michigan today at Ohio’s Pruitt Field.
Kent State (8-12) will be playing for their 10th tournament title on Saturday against Ohio which defeated Miami 1-0 in the other semifinal game earlier in the day.
Down 1-0 after a goal by the Chippewas’ Juliana Makrinos just four minutes in, the Golden Flashes evened the count in the 21st minute. The equalizer came on a goal by freshman Julia Hofmann (Bad Muenster, Germany), who was just getting started on what would be a career day for the Kent State rookie.
The rest of the first half continued to be tightly contested as the teams combined for just five first half shots and six corners.
|MATT HAFLEY | DAILY KENT STATER
Freshman midfielder Hannah Faulkner hugs senior defender Carla Johl after Johl scored Kent's forth and final goal of their first MAC tournament game against Central Michigan in Athens, Ohio on Friday Nov. 4. Kent will play Ohio University Saturday Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. for the MAC championship game.
The flow of the game then turned in the second half as Kent State came out of the break on a mission. Hofmann would score the go ahead goal on another corner in the 45th minute to set off a five minute scoring binge by the Golden Flashes that put the game away.
“In the second half we came out and played Kent State field hockey,” said Head Coach Kathleen Wiler. “We kept possession of the ball and executed our corners extremely well. It was a great performance by everyone on our team. We’re excited and we’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”
Just minutes after Hofmann found the cage, Kent State produced on yet another corner when senior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand) scored her 21st of the year for a 3-1 lead. Like she did for both Hofmann goals, sophomore Alyssa McFerren (Gibbsboro, N.J.) assisted Bell for her third assist of the game and 11th of the year.
The scoring wasn’t finished yet however as less than a minute after Bell, senior Carla Johl (Hamilton, New Zealand) scored for a 4-1 Golden Flashes advantage. The reigning MAC Offensive Player of the Week after scoring two game winning goals in overtime last weekend, Johl now has six goals this season after joining for the third time in as many games. Hofmann, who has now scored in four straight games herself, capped off her five-point day by assisting on the Johl score.
The defense was backed by another solid defensive performance from freshman goalie Jahna Jordan (Fallbrook, Calif.) who made five saves in the game.
Kent State and Central Michigan each had 10 shots in the game while the Golden Flashes had 11 penalty corners to six for the Chippewas.
First pass back for the championship game takes place at 1:00 p.m. The winner will host the winner of the Patriot League tournament in the NCAA Play-in game on Tuesday, November 8.