After a big win over No. 22 Ohio State on Tuesday, the Kent State field hockey team takes on No. 14 Syracuse on Saturday.
Coach Kyle DeSandes-Moyer didn’t even want to call the win an upset.
“We never viewed it that way,” she said. “We don’t feel like this huge underdog in any way, shape or form. We talked with the team about making sure we play our game as much as we possibly can, no matter who we are facing.”
The Flashes beat OSU 3-1, scoring three unanswered goals after Ohio State took the lead. KSU outshot the Buckeyes 7-5 in the second half. KSU is now 2-1 on the season. Ohio State is 1-1.
Almost every season, Kent State plays as many as five ranked teams in non-conference games and plays Ohio State most years. Two years ago they beat No. 24 Maine 2-1 and in 2017 beat OSU, then ranked 23rd, also 2-1.
On Tuesday, Ohio State took a 1-0 lead six minutes into the second quarter. Five minutes later, KSU’s Luisa Knapp tied the game with an unassisted goal.
From then on, it was all Kent State.
Jenna McCrudden gave Kent State a 2-1 lead in the third quarter with a goal assisted by Clara Rodriguez Seto. 50 seconds later, Ashley Bonetz scored KSU’s third goal, assisted by Maria Cambra Soler and Knapp.
The KSU defense and fifth-year goalkeeper Azure Fernsler shut out Ohio State in the second half.
“Fernsler made some incredible and clutch saves late in the game when Ohio State had some chances,” DeSandes-Moyer said. “She really held it down for us.”
Fernsler had five saves in the game.
The coach said Seto and Cambra Soler “played one of the best defensive games I’ve seen from them.”
DeSandes-Moyer said answering OSU’s first goal quickly was key.
“We were proud of their effort for responding,” she said. “I think in the second half our team had a little bit more of the momentum.”
The Flashes play Syracuse on the road Saturday afternoon. Syracuse is currently 2-0, coming off two dominant victories of 7-0 over Sacred Heart and 6-0 over Vermont.
Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at email@example.com