Field Hockey Looks To Wrap Up No. 1 Seed & Regular Season Title On Sunday
Golden Flashes travel to Missouri State for Regular Season finale
The Kent State field hockey team travels to Missouri State on Sunday for the final game of the 2010 regular season. With a win the Golden Flashes would secure the No. 1 seed in next weekend's Mid-American Conference Tournament and earn a third straight regular season MAC title.
The Golden Flashes are riding a five game winning streak and have won seven of the last eight behind a potent offensive attack. Kent State (12-6; 7-2) has racked up 60 goals scored this season and ranks 12th in the country with 3.29 goals per game. The team has been even better in MAC play averaging 4.98 goals per game and outscoring the opposition by a 45-18 margin. The 60 goals scored this year are the second highest single season total by a Kent State team since the program produced a league record 106 in 2000. Only the 2008 team has had more during the last 10 years with 61.
The scoring has been well balanced as five different players have scored at least six goals, marking the first time since 2000 the Golden Flashes have had such a balanced attack. Junior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) enters the weekend ranked rank third all-time in MAC history in 70 career goals. She trails Ball State's Jen Brown, who had 80 from 1994-97 and Sally Northcroft, who had a league record 126 from 1996-99. A four-time MAC offensive Player of the Week recipient this season, Bell ranks sixth in the nation with 20 goals scored on the year.
While the offensive has been lighting up the score board it was a strong defensive effort last weekend that moved the Golden Flashes into first place by half a game. Kent State surrendered just eight shots and a mere four penalty corners in wins at Ohio (4-1) and against Central Michigan (8-1). At Ohio the KSU defense allowed just three shots and one penalty corner for the entire game. The Golden Flashes performance was so dominating that Ohio managed just one shot in the final 52 minutes of the game. On Sunday, Kent State cruised a Senior Day win over Central Michigan allowing only five shots including just one in the second half. Leading the effort was senior Nicole Leach (San Diego, Calif/Mira Mesa) who was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week for her performance on both side of the ball.
Missouri State (5-12, 2-6) is coming off its best MAC run in a while. In the last three games, the Bears defeated Central Michigan, 1-0, and Ball State, 4-1, before falling to Miami (Ohio) in a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker. The wins gave Missouri State consecutive conference games for the first time since joining the MAC in 2005. Goalkeeper Steph Anderson has allowed only one goal in her last 141:56 in the cage, and her .752 save percentage is second in the conference. Missouri State hosts Ohio on Friday.
Kent State won the first meeting this season by a 9-1 count as Bell matched a career high with five goals. The Golden Flashes have won eight straight in the series and lead the head-to-head match-up by a 19-3-1 margin.
Game time is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Central time (12:00 p.m. Eastern) Live stats for the game are available here.