Kent State Suffers Hard Fought 2-1 Loss At No. 9 American In NCAA Play-in Game

Updated 11/10/2010
Tuesday's MAC Field Hockey Result
American 2, Kent State 1

Game story courtesy of Kent State Athletic Communications

American 2, Kent State 1
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Kent State field hockey team fought to the very last whistle, but was unable to defeat No. 9 American as the 2010 season came to a close with a 2-1 loss in the NCAA Play-in game.  The Golden Flashes end the season with a 15-7 overall record.

"I am extremely proud of the way our team competed and represented Kent State University," said Head Coach Kathleen (Schanne) Wiler.  

American (18-3) scored the game's first goal just under 14 minutes into the game.  The Eagles Ann van Erp fired a shot from 12 yards out, but Kent State senior goalie Caroline Suitch (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) was there with a kick save.  The ball took an unfortunate bounce for the Golden Flashes and rolled right to the stick of Lotte van de Mierop who put the rebound home to give American a 1-0 advantage.  

The Golden Flashes had a chance to draw even in the 20th minute when they earn the only penalty corner by either team in the first half.  Junior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) took aim on a direct hit, but a diving stop by the Eagles' Hannah Weitzman kept the Golden Flashes off the board.  

In the 28th minute American's Jenn Bradley played a long ball into the center circle that tipped off a Kent State defender and into the back of the cage.  The 2-0 lead would stand into halftime as Bell attempted the only other shot of the period in the 30th minute only to have it sail wide.  

Kent State gained new life at the start of the second half earning a penalty corner less than two minutes in.  Junior Amy Wimsatt (Louisville, Ky./Mercy Academy) capitalized on the opportunity when from the left post she tipped in a well placed pass from senior Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia/MacKillop College) and just like that the Golden Flashes were back in business.  

American quickly earned a corner on the other end, but Suitch was there again for one of her three saves on the day.  The action continued at a high rate in the second half as the Eagles had a Bradley shot saved in the 46th minute and another shot by Gina Hoffman blocked in the 47th minute.  The Golden Flashes would then earn a pair of corners in the 53rd minute but came away empty as Bell's first attempt went wide and American cleared out the second before Kent State could get a shot on goal.  The aggressiveness by the KSU offense continued as the team earned another penalty corner in the 58th minute only to have a shot attempt by Miller from the top of the circle blocked by an American defender.  

With about two minutes remaining, junior Carla Johl (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) forced a big turnover just outside of the American 25-yard line that set up another scoring threat for the Golden Flashes.  Bell then dribbled the ball to the right side of the circle but she was quickly swarmed by a pair of Eagle defenders and her shot attempted was blocked.  

"We had a few good looks there in the second half, but just didn't get one into the back of the cage," said Wiler.  

In the closing minute, Kent State gained possession in side the American 25 once again, but the Eagles defense was there once more as the Golden Flashes were unable to earn a corner or get a clear shot on goal.  For the game American held a 9-6 edge in shots taken, while Kent State held the penalty corner advantage 5-3.  

"We accomplished quite a bit this season and have a lot to be proud about," said Wiler.