Soccer prepares for CMU, Toledo


The Kent State Flashes play against the University of Akron Zips Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, at Cub Cadet Field. The Flashes won 3-1.

Dan Armelli

The Kent State women’s soccer team is in fifth place in the Mid-American Conference heading into its last three games of the season.

If the MAC tournament started today, the Flashes would be one of the eight teams to make it. There is a possibility for Kent State to surpass each team in front of them, with help.

Head coach Rob Marinaro says he and his team try not to look at the standings, even this late in the season.

“Something that we’ve talked to the team about is focusing in on what we’re going to do,” he said. “Our main priority and focus is this Friday. We try to really keep our eye on just that goal and not necessarily what everybody else is doing and any type of calculations. We’ve definitely had to refocus them and concentrate on just on our results.”

Senior defender Madison Helterbran said it is human nature to want to look at where the team sits in the standings.

“We try not to look at it because we just need to focus on ourselves and what we’re doing, and that’s what our focus has been,” she said. “But we can only control what we do. Whatever the other teams do, we’ll see in about a week and a half where everything will end up.”

Even with the way the Flashes played in their 4-1 win against Bowling Green and 3-0 defeat of Eastern Michigan, Marinaro says the team has done a good job of improving on their last performance this season.

After Kent State’s seven-goal weekend, redshirt sophomore Donavan Capehart, who scored four of those goals, says she is confident in the Flashes offense.

“We have a very deep bench,” she said. “I think no matter what, we’re comfortable with whoever is on the field.”

Hellstrom noted that she and her team have goals before the regular season ends.

“I think just coming in hard and not letting (the opponent) score first is going to be a big thing,” she said. “I think we’ve been connecting really well as a team. Hopefully we just carry that on for the next three games.”

Defensively, the Flashes were able to stifle opposing offenses last weekend, only allowing a combined six shots on goal against the Falcons and Eagles.

“In any game we go into we obviously want to limit the shots on goal against (freshman goalkeeper Ashleah McDonald),” she said. “That just gives us a better chance of winning, even though she comes up with the big saves.”

Kent State will be on the road for games at Central Michigan on Friday and Toledo on Sunday.

Capehart wins MAC offensive player of the week

After a four-goal weekend, which included a hat trick against Eastern Michigan, Capehart was names MAC offensive player of the week. She joins her teammates Hellstrom and sophomore forward Karli Paracca who also won the award this year.

Capehart, who transferred from Ohio State before the beginning of the 2014 season, said she expected this level of success this quickly after she switched schools.

“I knew what I was getting into,” she said. “I knew what the coaching staff was like. I knew that the team was going to be right for me. I felt that this was where I was going to be able to better myself the most.”

Last weekend’s performance vaulted Capehart into the leading goal scoring spot for the Flashes with 11. Capehart also had a two-goal game at Akron and another hat trick against Northern Illinois.

Marinaro noted that Capehart’s success has been a byproduct of what the team has been doing.

“I think she’s been very fortunate and has worked very hard to be on the end of a lot of those opportunities,” he said. “But she’s finishing the ball extremely well. But again, I think a lot has to do with what we’re doing as a team offensively.”

Hellstrom said all of the forwards have been connecting well with each other.

“Doni stepped up really well this weekend. She has been for this whole year,” she said. “She’s been playing really well and it was just a matter of time for her receiving an award.”

Dan Armelli is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].