Five newly named All-MAC players look to lead Kent State’s field hockey team to a MAC tournament title.
Kent State, the second seed in the tournament, will face Longwood University in Friday’s semifinals at 2:30 p.m. at Miami University. Top seed Miami will play Ohio at 11:30 a.m.
The winner of Saturday’s 2 p.m. final will advance to the NCAA tournament. KSU has won 13 MAC tournament championships and appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments.
All games are scheduled to be streamed on ESPN+, but links haven’t been posted as of Thursday afternoon.
The No. 23 Flashes shared the regular season title with Miami University. Both teams finished with a 6-1 record in the MAC.
Kent State and Miami met in the tournament championship every season from 2015 to 2019. KSU won in 2015 and 2016, Miami from 2017-19. There was no tournament last year because of COVID-19.
Fifth-year goalie Azure Fernsler, the MAC Defensive Player of the Year, joined fifth-year midfielder Clara Rodriguez Seto, senior midfielder Helena Cambra Soler and junior back Maria Cambra Soler on the All-MAC First Team. Senior forward Luisa Knapp was awarded All-MAC Second Team.
Fernsler is the first player in Kent State’s field hockey program history to win MAC Defensive Player of the Year and the first to win conference player of the year in any category since 2014. (How Fernsler came back from two knee surgeries to become one of the nation’s top goal keepers.)
On Oct. 8, KSU beat Longwood 3-2, scoring two goals in the final three minute to beat Longwood. Kent State also beat Miami and Ohio by one goal in the regular season.
The 2021 title became Kent State’s 18th MAC regular season championship.
Kent State went 12-5 this year, playing six ranked teams. KSU beat three of the six, including a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 14 Syracuse. The Flashes also beat No. 25 Maine and then-No. 22 Ohio State.
Kent State’s key to success this year has been its defense. KSU ranks first in the MAC in goals-allowed average and save percentage.
Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at email@example.com.