Soccer advances to MAC Championship game

Carly Evans

Kent State soccer will play in the Mid-American Conference Championship game for the first time since 2005 after beating Central Michigan University 3-1 Friday.

The Flashes went down early after Central Michigan scored a goal off a corner kick in the sixth minute.

Junior forward Karli Paracca put the Flashes back in the game with a goal just six minutes into the second half. The goal was assisted by junior forward Donavan Capehart and junior defender Jaime Eiben.

Senior forward Jenna Hellstrom was brought down in the box for a foul and scored in the 61st minute off a penalty kick for her 14th goal of the season.

Junior forward Hayden Pascoe scored the third goal for the Flashes to put the game away, assisted by sophomore defender Paige Culver.

“Coming back in the second half the way we did, I thought our intensity really rose,” head coach Rob Marinaro said. “It was a fantastic second half. We moved the ball extremely well and we created opportunities.”

The Flashes have the opportunity to win their first MAC Tournament Championship with a win Sunday.

Hellstrom was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year and Marinaro was named Coach of the Year. Hellstrom and Culver were selected to the All-MAC first team.

Senior midfielder Abbie Lawson, senior defender Brittany Maisano and Capehart were named to the All-MAC second team. Freshman defender Sierra Henderson-Muschett was named to the All-Freshman team.

Kent State will play eighth seeded Northern Illinois University at Dix Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.

Contact Carly Evans at [email protected].