Flashes soccer wins eighth straight

Junior+Hayden+Pascoe+chases+after+the+ball+against+Northern+Illinois+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+30%2C+2016+at+Stow-Munroe+Falls+High+School.

Deidre Pulley

Junior Hayden Pascoe chases after the ball against Northern Illinois on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

Carly Evans

The Kent State women’s soccer team beat the Northern Illinois University Huskies 2-0 Friday and Western Michigan University 5-1 Sunday, improving to 3-0-0 in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Six different players scored this weekend for the Flashes.

“A lot of it is ball movement,” said head coach Rob Marinaro. “The quicker that you play you find more openings. When you open the game up on teams, then we’re going to create opportunities … we did a really good job at that a number of times this weekend.”

Junior forwards Donavan Capehart and Karli Paracca each scored a goal in the second half of Friday’s game against Northern Illinois to lead the Flashes to a 2-0 win.

The Flashes faced some uncertainty headed into Friday —with the game being delayed — and moved to a local high school due to weather. Capehart’s goal in the 52nd minute helped set the tempo for the rest of the game.

“It was the first goal of the game. I think it helped us get composed a bit more and settle down because it felt a little bit hectic. We were in control, but it could have been better,” Capehart said. “Just getting that first goal was a confidence booster for myself and for the whole team.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Ashleah McDonald shut out the other team for the third time this season.

“Our (defense) as a whole stayed strong and was really strong with our communication,” McDonald said. “When our defense is strong it resonates with the whole team.”

The Huskies fell to 3-5-2 on the season and 2-1-0 in the MAC.

Sunday’s game, on the other hand, was a story of two halves for the Flashes.

After the team struggled to find a rhythm in the opening minutes, they were able to go up 1-0 in the 15th- minute when Western Michigan Broncos goalkeeper, Stephanie Heber brought down senior forward Jenna Hellstrom for a penalty kick. Heber received a red card, which forced the Broncos to play with 10 on the field instead of 11 for the remainder of the game.

Senior midfielder Abbie Lawson scored on the penalty kick.

“I had the opportunity and it was a way to get the team’s confidence built up,” Lawson said. “It was exciting, and we held on from there.”

The Flashes were evenly matched with the Broncos for the remainder of the first half, but the Broncos — with one less player — worked in Kent State’s favor. The Flashes scored four goals in the second half to put the game away.

“As the game went on, (the Broncos being a man down) wore them down a little bit. In the second half we matched up man-to-man so we could neutralize them a little bit more,” Marinaro said.”The team did a really good job individually, and really picked up their game and defensively did a fantastic job.”

Kent State improved to 8-1-0 on the season

The Flashes will travel to Akron to take on the Zips at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Carly Evans is a sports reporter, contact her at [email protected]