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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Soccer defeats top-seed to advance to MAC Championship

Brittany Lucia
Kent State Women’s Soccer vs. Northern Illinois University on Sunday, October 15, 2023.

Kent State’s soccer team continued its revenge tour in the Mid-American Conference tournament with a win against top-seeded host Western Michigan, 2-1.

“We’ve talked about playing 90 minutes all season long,” coach Rob Marinaro said. “What they have produced in the last four or five games is everything that you can ask for from your team.”

The Flashes have now won consecutive games against teams they lost to during the regular season.

KSU will now have a chance to win a MAC championship – the program’s only tournament championship came in 2016.

This will be the fourth appearance for the Flashes.

Kent State once again used an early attacking offense to gain a lead. The scoring started in the 21st minute, with sophomore forward Mary Kate Lape finding junior forward Alisa Arthur for a goal. 

Arthur now has ten goals on the season, which leads the team and is the eighth most in a single season in KSU history.

Shortly after, in the 28th minute, freshman forward Josie Morgan crossed the ball to senior forward Callie Cunningham, who extended the Flashes lead to 2-0. 

“We went up early, and it allowed us to build momentum,” Marinaro said. “We got two amazing goals and some great opportunities that we created as a team.”

Kent State defended hard for the rest of the game with a comfortable cushion. 

The Broncos tried their best to score while outshooting the Flashes 10 to zero in the second half. Kent State’s defense stepped up while graduate student Sarah Melén tallied eight saves on the day. 

Western Michigan finally found the back of the net in the 84th minute, making the score 2-1. 

“Got to give tons of credit to the team defense,” Marinaro said. “The commitment that they showed today is something to be really proud of as a coach.” 

The Flashes took nine shots compared to the Broncos’ 17 in the contest. Western Michigan also had 13 corner kicks, while Kent State had four. 

Kent State will now play for the MAC title against Ohio University. 

The Flashes beat the Bobcats this season 1-0 on Sept. 21. 

“For us, it’s what can we do within our 90 minutes,” Marinaro said. “The last couple of times we played teams that have beaten us, so now they have to come back with a strong mentality.”

The Flashes will stay in Kalamazoo, Michigan, taking on OU at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Ohio has appeared in the championship game two times but is one of three (Akron and Ball State) to capture a win.

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

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