CLEVELAND, Ohio ? Having won the last two Mid-American Conference regular season crowns, the Kent State Field Hockey program could be well in line for a third straight title this fall. In a vote taken by the league’s head coaches the Golden Flashes were picked as the favorites for the 2010 season edging out Miami and Ohio.
As the only team in the league to return two First Team All-MAC performers, Kent State takes aim at capturing the regular season outright after posting an 8-2 conference record and sharing the crown with Ohio last year. Heading up the Golden Flashes attack is All-American and reigning MAC Player of the Year Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia/MacKillop College). In 2009 Miller was the only player in the league to record double-digit goals and assists a season ago. Helping her up front in the forward position is junior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand/Waikato), whose 29 goals last year were the second most in the nation and nearly doubled that of the second-place finisher in the MAC.
Finishing second in the voting were the Miami RedHawks who return the only other First Team All-MAC player of the 11 selected in 2009. Rounding out the top three vote getters are the Ohio Bobcats. Central Michigan, Ball State and Missouri State completed the poll.
Kent State begins the season by traveling to James Madison this weekend to face William and Mary on August 28 and JMU on August 29. Conference play starts for the Golden Flashes on Sept. 25 against Ball State. The MAC Field Hockey Championship will be hosted by Central Michigan from November 4-6.
2010 MAC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll (First-place votes in parentheses) 1. Kent State (2) 31 2. Miami (2) 30 3. Ohio (2) 29 4. Central Michigan 17 5. Ball State 10 6. Missouri State 9.