Soccer clinch MAC tournament No. 2 seed in win over Ohio

Carly Evans

For the second straight game, Kent State’s soccer team found itself near the end of its first overtime period.

With four seconds to go Thursday in Athens, junior forward Hayden Pascoe ran past an Ohio University defender as a crossing pass sailed to her from midfield.

Pascoe took the ball to the corner of the penalty box, then launched her shot.

The ball hit perfectly in the upper left corner of the net, giving the Flashes a 3-2 win.

Last Sunday, the Flashes faced a similar position. But Kent State couldn’t score and a Ball State University goal in the 97th minute gave the Flashes their first conference loss of the season.

“They just stuck it together,” head coach Rob Marinaro said. “Their effort today was fantastic. It came down to getting that special moment. Hayden put a great shot on goal, and those are the moments that make the difference in a game.”

Senior forward Morgan Williams scored Kent State’s first goal in the 42nd minute to tie the game 1-1. After Ohio scored early in the second half, Pascoe scored in the 54th minute to tie the game 2-2.

Kent State’s win brought Ohio’s unanticipated end-of-season run to an end.

On Oct. 16, Ohio had won only one conference game and was in last place in the Mid-American Conference East.

But last weekend the Bobcats were able to beat Ball State and Miami University — the two top teams in the MAC besides Kent State — and shook up seeding going into the MAC tournament.

“The theme that we’ve tried to carry all season is that it’s about us,” Marinaro said. “We have to give the best effort we can no matter the opponent. This is a conference from top to bottom that if you’re not giving your best, you can fall.”

Kent State will be the No. 2 seed in the MAC tournament. Ball State’s 2-0 win over Miami Thursday gave it the No. 1 seed.

The Flashes will face No. 7 seed Eastern Michigan University in the MAC quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Sunday at Dix Stadium.

If the team wins, they’ll play the winner of Sunday’s Central Michigan University-University at Buffalo game on Nov. 4.

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