Soccer suffers two losses to top MAC teams

Kent+State+freshman+center+midfielder+Kristen+Brots+attempts+to+gain+possession+of+the+ball+at+the+game+against+Miami+University+on+Friday%2C+Oct.+10%2C+2014.+The+game+ended+in+a+draw%2C+1-1.

Kent State freshman center midfielder Kristen Brots attempts to gain possession of the ball at the game against Miami University on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The game ended in a draw, 1-1.

Dan Armelli

The Kent State women’s soccer team played a combined 169 minutes this weekend with a 0-0 tie. However, in neither contests could they come away with a victory as they lost at Ball State and Miami of Ohio. The Flashes failed to score in both matches.

Kent State is now 7-5-2 on the season and 3-3 in the MAC.

After Friday’s game against the Cardinals, Kent State head coach Rob Marinaro said that he didn’t think the team was as strong on the attack as it usually is.

“We really didn’t follow a lot of the things that we’re good at,” he said. “Unfortunately, we got caught defending an awful lot and you can’t defend for 90 minutes.”

The Flashes were without junior forward Jenna Hellstrom and freshman defender Paige Culver against Ball State.

Kent State spent most of the game on Friday fending off the offensive attack of the Cardinals. Even still, the game went scoreless in the first half.

Going into halftime, the Cardinals outshot the Flashes 10-1, with seven and one shots on goal, respectively.

Kent State freshman goalkeeper Ashleah McDonald was able to save all shots on goal. McDonald finished with a season high 11 saves in the match.

The Flashes’ only shot on goal came in the 14th minute off a header by senior defender Madison Helterbran via a free kick from sophomore midfielder Kristen Brots.

The game remained without a goal until the 74th minute when Ball State freshman midfielder knocked one into the net off a pass from senior midfielder Chelsy Swackhamer.

Cardinals freshman forward Abbie Boswell added two goals of her own just five and nine minutes later. Ball State won 3-0.

Marinaro said that point in the game is when his team lost some of its focus.

“We didn’t pressure as well as we were at the beginning of the game,” he said. “Unfortunately, they capitalized.”

Like its game against Ball State, Kent State went into halftime with a 0-0 tie against Miami. However, this time the Flashes were with Hellstrom and Culver.

While the Flashes had less shots on goal than the RedHawks in the first half (3-2), it was an improvement on the 1-7 shots on goal deficit they faced against the Cardinals.

“I don’t know if we should have won,” Marinaro said. “I was pleased with our performance. I thought we worked really hard and played well. Unfortunately, we fell on the short of it in overtime.”

McDonald followed up her 11-save performance from Friday with five saves against Miami.

The teams went into overtime scoreless. It was the fourth time this year the Flashes went into overtime.

Kent State got off two shots to Miami’s one in overtime. However, in the ninety-seventh minute, the ball bounced over McDonald and squirted into the net for an own goal game-winner. The 0-1 loss was the Flashes’ first in overtime this year (1-1-2).

“The ball just took a bad bounce and went over Ashley’s head,” Marinaro recalled. “Ashley and (senior defender Madison Helterbran) tried to clear it off the line and it ended up trickling in.”

Though the Flashes improved their performance on Sunday from a statistical standpoint, Marinaro said he still did not think the team played as well as it is capable.

“But we worked hard, we battled, and we kept ourselves in the game,” he said. “Unfortunately, they got the opportunity to win it in overtime. But we’ll continue to work and create more opportunities for ourselves and bounce back from this weekend and get some more games down the road.”

This is the first time all year Kent State has lost back-to-back games. However, this is a team that has five times faced a deficit and come back to win.

“I’m very confident in the group of players that we have to give it their all to quickly bounce back and try to pick up some points this weekend,” Marinaro said.

The Flashes will be back at home this weekend with games against Bowling Green at 4 p.m. on Friday and Eastern Michigan at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Zoeller Field.

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