MOUNT PLEASANT - Despite holding a potent Kent State offense to just one goal for nearly 100 minutes, the Central Michigan field hockey fell, 1-0, in double overtime against the Golden Flashes in the Mid-American Conference regular-season finale Saturday afternoon.
The Chippewas (7-10, 3-2 MAC) had their share of chances to score the game-winning goal over the Golden Flashes (8-12, 4-1 MAC) and kept the prolific Golden Flashes off the scoreboard for nearly the entire match with stellar play by the defense and senior goalkeeper Anastasia Netto but could not break through to win the match.
As a result, the Chippewas will enter the MAC Tournament on Friday as the third seed, where the Co-MAC Regular Season Champion Golden Flashes will await in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. as the second seed. Miami (OH) also claimed co-champion honors.
Netto made a season-high 10 saves and the CMU defense stifled three penalty corner attempts by Kent State at the end of the first overtime to send the match into a second extra period.
With the possibility of penalty strokes to determine the match looming toward the end of the second overtime, Kent State’s Rebecca Lee converted on a penalty corner with just 51 seconds remain to score the game-winner. Julia Hoffman and Sabrina Binder assisted on the goal.
CMU held a 13-11 shots advantage in regulation, and both teams took seven shots on goal in that time. The Golden Flashes outshot CMU 9-4 in the extra periods, including five in the second extra session.
The Chippewas controlled possession for much of the match, and had perhaps their best opportunity to win the match in the first overtime period when senior midfielder Erin Dye’s diving redirection of a cross from senior midfielder Erica Garwood in the 74th minute missed the cage by inches.
In regulation it appeared junior forward Bailey McKeon had given the Chippewas a lead in the second half, but the goal was disallowed due to a penalty by the Chippewas in the circle.
Central Michigan held a decisive 11-4 advantage in penalty corners in regulation, but the Golden Flashes had a 2-1 advantage in the final overtime period, including the one that produced the game-winner.
Sophomore forward Cayleigh Immelman took three shots on goal, while McKeon and Dye each took two apiece.
The Chippewas return to action Sunday at 1 p.m. for their regular season finale and Senior Day against No. 14 Michigan.