The University of Maine’s field hockey game against Temple University on Saturday morning at Kent State University in Ohio was called off after the first overtime period so pre-game festivities could take place for the Kent State-Kennesaw State football game.
The teams were tied 0-0.
Field hockey games involve four 15-minute quarters followed by two sudden-death 10-minute overtime periods and then a penalty stroke shootout.
The Kent State field hockey team’s Murphy-Mellis Field is next to Dix Stadium, where the football team plays.
According to a tweet from UMaine senior forward Riley Field, the teams were asked to leave the field for safety purposes so they could shoot off fireworks before the football game.
there was a plan for fireworks for an opening of the football game so they had us clear for safety purposes. fireworks were not meant to go off until 12 and it was 10:45 when we ended our first overtime.
— Riley Field (@RileyField11) September 7, 2019
The field hockey game began at 9 a.m., and Field wrote that the fireworks were supposed to go off at noon. It was 10:45 a.m. at the end of the first overtime period, she said.
The game was officially considered a scrimmage so their records and statistics won’t be affected, according to the Temple University athletics website.
Kent State beat Maine 2-1 on Sunday morning.
University of Maine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph said in a statement that “prior to the contest we were made aware of timing issues regarding pre-game football activities. While we would have greatly appreciated the opportunity to play the final 10 minutes of our contest, the KSU administration made the decision they felt was most appropriate.”
According to a story in kentwired.com, Kent State officials said, “We regret today’s game had to be stopped during overtime play per field hockey guidelines we previously discussed. We recognize the hard work and dedication of all student-athletes. The safety of our community, including student-athletes and visitors, is always our first consideration.”
The decision infuriated a lot of people, including Kent State alums affiliated with the field hockey program.
Former Kent State field hockey player Madison Thompson said in a tweet, “As a member of not one but four of Kent State’s most successful teams in school history, I am EMBARRASSED and DISGUSTED with the lack of respect shown to our sport.
“Shame on the entire administrative staff,” she wrote.
Former Kent State sports information specialist Mollie Radzinski, now an associate athletic director for Athletics Communications at the University of Cincinnati wrote, “Wow. Kent State athletics is once again exhibiting blatant disrespect for ALL of its student-athletes. What a slap in the face to these young women.”
A tweet from the UMaine Field Hockey account also expressed some surprise.
“Well… that’s a new one.
Today’s game at @KentState has been declared a “no contest” after Kent State administration came onto the field prior to the second overtime half and called off the game to allow the noontime Kent football game to begin on time.”