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Offense erupts as soccer clinches MAC Tournament

Cadie Pierce
Midfielder Alisa Arthur (11) fights to keep it away from Western Michigan midfielder Heidi Thomasma (21) and defender Mira Pierre-Webster, with a waiting Siena Stambolich being defended by Olivia Bruinik on Oct. 19, 2023.

Kent State’s soccer team needed a win Sunday to clinch its spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament. 

The Flashes halted their two-game losing streak by scoring the most goals in a game this season, defeating Toledo 4-1. The three-goal win is the largest win this season. 

KSU improved to 9-6-2 overall and 6-4 in the MAC. The Rockets fell to 7-8-2 on the season and are 4-5-1 in the conference.

Sophomore forward Mary Kate Lape led the way with three assists in the contest, marking the second-most assists in a game in program history. 

Former player and now assistant coach Jenna Hellstrom holds the record at four assists.

Lape’s first assist came in the 13th minute when she found junior midfielder Siena Stambolich, who fired in a goal. This was Stambolich’s third goal this season.

The Flashes then used strong defense to carry a 1-0 lead into the halftime break.

Lape continued her excellence by finding junior forward Alisa Arthur for her team-leading seventh goal in the 49th minute. 

Ten minutes later, Lape assisted freshman midfielder Alanna Raimondo, making the score 3-0.

Raimondo joins Stambolich with three goals on the season.

The Rockets found a goal of their own in the 60th minute, but sophomore midfielder Kelsey Salopek scored another goal for the Flashes in the 70th minute, for a final score of 4-1.

KSU had 11 shots, with seven on goal; Toledo had 18 shots, with five on goal. Both teams had five corner kicks.

Kent State has battled to earn its playoff spot in a tightly contested seeding race. With only one game remaining on the season, the Flashes shape up to be a fourth or fifth seed out of six. 

Arthur has led the way for the Flashes this season by tallying 17 points, including seven goals. Arthur’s running mate is senior forward Callie Cunningham, who is tied for most assists with Stambolich at four. 

Up next, Kent State will travel to Buffalo on Thursday for the final regular season game before playoffs.

Last season, the Bulls defeated the Flashes 2-0, ending the chances for postseason play. 

The Bulls come into the contest holding the sixth and final playoff spot at 7-4-6 overall and 4-3-3 in the MAC.

Over the last three matchups, Kent State has been limited to one goal, going 1-1-1 in those games.

Matthew Franos is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Cadie Pierce, Photographer
Cadie Pierce (she/they) is a Senior Integrative Studies major and Photojournalism minor and staff photographer for KentWired/Kent Stater. Cadie can be reached at [email protected].

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