Saturday's MAC Field Hockey

Updated 11/1/2009
Miami 2, Kent State 1
KENT, Ohio -The Kent State field hockey team was topped by visiting Miami, 2-1 earlier today at Murphy-Mellis Field. The loss snapped a three game winning streak for the Golden Flashes (11-7; 7-2) and moved them into a tie atop the Mid-American Conference with the RedHawks (11-8;7-2) at 7-2.

Following a disastrous first half by Kent State, sophomore Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) put KSU on the board in the 55th minute. Out of a penalty corner situation, Bell tied the game at 1-1 when she ricocheted a shot off two Miami defenders for her 23rd goal of the year. Junior Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia / MacKillop College) assisted on the play, giving her 100 points for her career. Miller becomes the eighth player in school history to reach the 100 points plateau and also moved into a tied for fourth place all-time with 32 career assists.

Five minutes later, Miami would regain the lead for good on a penalty corner score by Katie Brightwell.

The RedHawks controlled nearly the entire first half, taking a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when Maggie Marcum scored from six yards out on the right side. Kent State, which held a 10-9 advantage in shots taken after half time, was outshot 10-0 in the first half. Miami also held an 8-0 edge in penalty corner chances in the first 35 minutes. Things would even up in the second half with the Golden Flashes taking seven penalty corners to three for Miami, but KSU was unable to capitalize as the three game winning streak came to an end.

In goal, junior Caroline Suitch (Mountain Top, Pa. / Crestwood) had eight saves for KSU.

Both 7-2, Miami and Kent State are now tied for first in the MAC standings, a half a game ahead of Ohio (6-2), which plays later today against Ball State. The Golden Flashes can clinch at least a share of the regular season title and a first round bye in next week's MAC Tournament with a win over Ball State tomorrow.

Tomorrow's game will be the final regular season game for KSU. The program will honor its three seniors before the 1:00 pm contest.

Ohio 3, Ball State 0
ATHENS, Ohio - The Bobcats took care of business at Pruitt Field on Saturday, shutting out visiting Ball State 3-0. This win, the ninth of the season for the Green and White, places them atop the Mid-American Conference standings, as Kent State fell to Miami earlier in the afternoon. The winner of tomorrow's game against Miami will determine the 2009 regular-season conference champion.

Marcy Dull (Ephrata, Pa.) led off the scoring for the `Cats, finding the back of the net in the 17th minute. Katelyn Shelly (Ephrata, Pa.) controlled the ball in the D from a penalty corner and was able to find Dull's stick with her pass. Dull wasted no time in scoring her ninth goal of the year, putting Ohio ahead by one.

Neither team found the score sheet over the next 25 minutes, but the Bobcats really outplayed the Cardinals. Ohio peppered Ball State goalkeeper Tiffany Shifflett, accumulating 19 total shots in the match. She was equal to six of them on the day, making some fine saves.

The `Cats broke through again when Paige Herr (Lancaster, Pa.) scored her first goal of the season. The second Bobcat goal of the day came from another penalty corner, and this time Dull provided the assist.

"We scored off three of nine corners," said head coach Neil Macmillan. "That's great. Scoring on one of every three...that's about as good as you can hope for."

The brilliant corner execution continued when Brooke Edwards (Milford, Pa.) found the back of the net on yet another penalty corner in the 69th minute. The goal was her third of the season and was unassisted. Though coming from a corner, the ball bounced around for a few seconds inside Ball State's defensive zone before Edwards was able to hammer it home.

"It was good all around," said Macmillan. "I'm happy with our corner execution and happy with our play."

Saturday's win puts even more emphasis on Sunday's regular-season finale against Miami. Whichever team wins Sunday's match will be the regular-season champion and earn an automatic bye in the first round of the conference tournament. If Ohio loses and Kent State wins their match against Ball State Sunday, the Bobcats would drop to third place, meaning they would not get the first-round bye.
Sunday's 1 pm match against Miami is 2009 Senior Day.

Central Michigan 4, Missouri State 1
MOUNT PLEASANT - Kelly Jordan recorded her second collegiate hat trick and added an assist to propel the Central Michigan field hockey team to a 4-1 victory over Mid-American Conference foe Missouri State on Saturday.

The Chippewas (6-12, 3-6 Mid-American) won their second straight contest and secured at least the fifth seed in next week's MAC Tournament in Muncie, Ind.

The match began slowly as neither team generated many shots in the first 20 minute of play. With under 10 minutes remaining in the opening frame, the teams combined for only seven shot attempts, with the Chippewas owning a 4-3 advantage.

CMU drew first blood in the 28th minute when Jordan took the ball down the left side and beat MSU goalkeeper Mackenzie Crawford to the near post for her eighth goal of the season.

The Maroon and Gold struck again just over a minute and a half later when Brooke Sihota redirected Jordan's attempt off a penalty corner for her fourth tally of the year as the Chippewas held a 2-0 lead at the break.

Jordan netted her second goal of the afternoon just 5:22 into the second half when she beat Crawford with a shot off another penalty corner. Kim Erasmus and Pam Seufert each garnered assists on the play.

The Burt, N.Y. native gave CMU a 4-0 lead in the 44th minute when Erin Dye's pass sprung her loose in the attacking circle. The goal gave Jordan her first hat trick since the 2005 MAC Tournament finals, which CMU won, against Miami.

"Today was a good effort, especially offensively," head coach Cristy Freese said. "I give some credit to (assistant coach) Earl Marais. He suggested moving her to the left side in practice and we made the move about 10 minutes in. Kelly created a lot of chances from that position."

MSU's Melissa Lantz ended CMU's shutout bid with her 15th goal with 5:17 remaining.

The Chippewas finished with a dominant, 19-5, advantage in shots and an equally impressive 9-2 edge in penalty corners.

Melinda Curran got the nod in goal and stopped all three shots she faced in 60:45 of action. Kahla Schwall closed out the contest for the Chippewas.

The Chippewas play the Bears again on Sunday at noon for both team's regular season finale.