Kent State soccer has strong showing in weekend opener, despite quick turnaround

Kent+State+sophomore+defender+Amanda+Reed+collides+with+Bowling+Green+freshman+midfielder+Sophia+Barnes+at+the+game+Friday%2C+Nov.+3%2C+2017.

Kent State sophomore defender Amanda Reed collides with Bowling Green freshman midfielder Sophia Barnes at the game Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Gina Butkovich

The Kent State (2-1-1) soccer team had a busy weekend, playing the University of Pittsburgh on Friday and Cleveland State on Sunday.

“This weekend is the first time we have played a Friday and a Sunday game,” coach Rob Marinaro said. “It taught everyone how to play with a quick turnaround.”

Kent State 1- Pittsburgh 1

The game against Pittsburgh was a hard fought game that ended in a 1-1 tie.

“We started off slow in the first half,” Marinaro said, “but we came back in the second half and finished very strong. Tonight was very much a tail of two halves.”

The Pittsburgh Panthers took an early lead with a goal from Anna Rico in the 15th minute, with the Flashes responding in the 52nd minute with a goal from sophomore midfielder Maddie Holmes. Holmes tied the game with a header to the back of the net on a pass from sophomore forward Isabelle Mihail.

Defense was a strong point for the Flashes, especially in the second half.

“We really picked up defensive matchups in the second half,” Marinaro said, “and we really need to start putting the entire game together from here on out.”

Kent State 2- Cleveland State 0

The team did just that during the Sunday afternoon game at Cleveland State. They opened up the game in the 27th minute with freshman forward Khyla Porter finding the back of the net off an assist from sophomore midfielder Vital Kats. Porter scored again in the 44th minute and the Flashes finished 2-0 at the half.

“That second goal from Porter was off of a turnover and she delivered with a really nice shot from a distance of 40 yards,” Marinaro said.

Defense remained strong in the second half, and the Flashes won 2-0 with 17 shots on goal. Marinaro was not surprised by Porter’s performance, as he has been impressed with all the freshman’s performances this year.

“Porter gave us a great performance today. We had a conversation before the game and she really stepped up and delivered big for us with two quality goals,” Marinaro said.

Once the Flashes had sang the fight song and were back on the bus, Marinaro and the team started to look towards the next game.

“We try to take it one game at a time,” Marinaro said. “The only thing I’ve asked of them is 90 minutes of hard work each game.”

The team plays their next game on Friday August 31st at 7:30 p.m. at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Gina Butkovich is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected]