Story Courtesy of Kent State Media Relations
STOCKTON, Calif. ? Traveling to the west coast for the first time in school history, the Kent State field hockey team showed zero signs of jet lag in a 3-1 win over host Pacific on Thursday (Sept. 3). The win improves the Golden Flashes to 2-1 on the season, while the Tigers fall to 1-2.
“Playing our first game ever on the West Coast I am happy with the way our team performed today,” said Kent State Head Coach Kathleen Schanne. “It was great to start off this three game stretch with a win and build some momentum heading into Saturday’s game at California.”
Kent State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute when senior Laurie Wilkins (Toledo, Ohio / Ottawa Hills) notched her first goal of the year. Wilkins found the back of the cage off a rebound from a missed shot by sophomore Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato).
The Golden Flashes held the one goal advantage until 47:28 when the Tiger’s Kiddy Leubane dribble past a defender on the right side and sent the tying goal into the left corner of the goal.
Kent State would not stay tied for long however as Bell recorded her team best fifth goal of the year to give the Golden Flashes a 2-1 advantage at the 54:32 mark. Bell’s goal proved to be the game winner as Pacific managed just two second half shots against the vaulted KSU defense. All-American Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia / MacKillop College) accounted for the final margin adding an insurance goal off a penalty corner in the closing two minutes
For the third straight game the Golden Flashes dominated the shots taken owning a 15-6 margin today which included an 11-2 edge in the second half. In three games this year KSU has out shot its opponents by a combined 75-22.
“I thought our defense was solid once again especially in the 15-yard area.” said Schanne. “In the second half our backs organized well and it helped neutralize their offensive attack.”
Junior goalie Caroline Suitch (Mountain Top, Pa. / Crestwood), last week’s Mid-American Conference Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week, made three saves in goal for KSU.
The Golden Flashes continue the west coast swing on Saturday at California. The ball is scheduled to drop at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.