Courtesy of Kent State Sports Information Department
Kent State 3, Central Michigan 2
Oxford, Ohio -- The Kent State field hockey team (9-12; 5-1 MAC) defeated Central Michigan (7-12; 3-3 MAC) 3-2 today in a semifinal match to determine who would face off against the Miami Redhawks in the MAC Championship game Saturday, November 3 at 1:00 p.m. Sophomore Julia Hofmann (Bad Muenster, Germany) put the ball in the net in the 59th minute in what would ultimately be the game-winning goal for the Golden Flashes, as they relied on their stout defense the rest of the way.
The Chippewas got off to an early lead, scoring on a breakaway in just the eigth minute of play. Down 1-0 Kent State proved they were resilient by scoring themselves just over a minute later when Freshman Karleigh Carlin (Drexel Hill, Pa.) had a Rebecca Lee (Bathurst, Austrailia) pass find her in the center of the circle. Carlin was able to get her stick on the ball just in time, sending it flying past Central Michigan goalie Anastasia Netto to even the score 1-1. The goal was Carlin's 5th of the season.
With a tied game now on their hands Kent State refused to let up, as they broke the tie in the 28th minute. One of the MAC's most effective combinations connected for another goal as Hofmann corraled a pass from Lee off of a penalty corner. Hofmann's strike was her first goal of the day as well as her 15th of the season, leading the conference. The Flashes led 2-1 with just 12 minutes left in the half.
Kent State was able to close the half strong but the Chippewas found momentum in the second half, as they struck first. In the 39th minute of action Erica Garwood was able to match Kent State by delivering the ball just past freshman goalie Jahna Jordan (Fallbrook, Calif.). Tied up once again at 2-2, the game could've gone to anyone at this point, but the Golden Flashes proved they wanted it more after battling back and forth for twenty minutes.
It was then in the 59th minute of play that the Golden Flashes went ahead for good, 3-2, after Hofmann put the ball past Netto one last time off of another penalty corner. Junior Sabrina Binder (Krefeld, Germany) fed the ball to Lee who then found Hofmann open for a shot. Hofmann brought her stick back and struck the ball with force enough to to find its way into the goal.
Kent State will play for the MAC Championship Saturday, November 3 when they face off against the Miami Redhawks. The last time they battled the Redhawks for the MAC Title was 2010 where the Golden Flashes came away victorious 3-2 with little time left on the clock. It is the third straight appearance for Kent State in the MAC Championship game and their 16th appearance overall. The Golden Flashes hold a 9-6 record when playing for the MAC Championship.