Soccer to host remainder of MAC tournament with win over EMU

Carly Evans

The last time Kent State (13-2-2, 9-1-2 Mid-American Conference) played Eastern Michigan (6-10-4, 4-6-2 MAC) the team was on the road and had just had a 10-game winning streak snapped.

The Flashes tied that game 0-0 – the first time this season a team held them scoreless.

On Sunday, the Flashes were able to beat the Eagles 2-0 and advance to the second round of the MAC tournament for the first time since 2012.

“We were very confident in our abilities,”said redshirt junior forward Donavan Capehart. “Even though we came out with a tie against them in regular season, we knew that we were gonna be able to beat this team because we were confident in ourselves.”

After a 0-0 tie at halftime Capehart was able to get the scoring started for the Flashes in the 52nd minute, for her sixth goal of the season.

Senior defender Brittany Maisano passed the ball to senior forward Jenna Hellstrom who was able to get the ball to Capehart. Capehart blew past a defender and the goalie to tap the ball into an empty net.

“It came at the right time when we really needed a goal,” Capehart said. “We just weren’t getting lucky in the first half. To be able to come off of a no goal-streak was pretty cool to have the first one in a while be at the first tournament game.”

Head coach Rob Marinaro told the team to stay positive during the halftime talk.

“We were getting our opportunities,” Marinaro said. “We just had to be patient with it, keep our forwards up high, and when they got that opportunity we were going to get in behind (their defense). (Hellstrom) and Donavan did a great job of combining together. The rest of the team played solid defense behind them and was feeding them good balls in.”

Maisano assisted both goals for her first multiple-assist game. The Flashes defense also recorded its eighth shutout of the season.

“This time of year everyone knows what you’re trying to do,” Marinaro said. “They focus in on certain players that are scoring points. So to get that kind of production from your defensive line, I thought they played fantastic defensively. They were solid for the 90 minutes, and then to jump into the offensive attack and contribute in that manner helped the result that we got today.”

Junior forward Hayden Pascoe scored the second goal of the game, her third goal in two games.

“Jenna passed it back and I just crossed it,” Maisano said. “Hayden was able to score off it. I think it was good that we got the second goal, just so we were at ease.”

Kent State will host the semifinals and finals of the MAC tournament after No.1 seed Ball State University (14-3-3, 9-1-1 MAC) lost to No. 8 seed Northern Illinois University (4-10-5, 3-6-2 MAC), 4-3 on penalty kicks.

“It’s an exciting time of the year,” Marinaro said. “And we’ve asked the team not to be scoreboard watchers. That’s something that we’ve tried to stay true to for the entire season. To celebrate the win today is crucial, but we’re focused in on this Friday.”

Kent State will play No. 3 Central Michigan University at 7 p.m. Friday at Dix Stadium.

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