Kent’s soccer team struggles with injuries

Junior+Forward+Jenna+Hellstrom+battles+a+player+from+the+University+of+Louisville+at+Zoeller+Field+on+Friday%2C+August+28%2C+2015.+The+Flashes+ended+the+game+in+a+tie+2-2.

Junior Forward Jenna Hellstrom battles a player from the University of Louisville at Zoeller Field on Friday, August 28, 2015. The Flashes ended the game in a tie 2-2.

Dan Armelli

The Kent State women’s soccer team will look to get back to the .500 mark this weekend as they prepare for an away-home split versus the Butler Bulldogs (4-1-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Cleveland State Vikings (3-2-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Flashes are coming off a 0-1 loss and 1-1 tie against Vermont and New Hampshire respectively in the TD Bank Classic in Burlington, Vermont.

With a record of 1-2-2, the Flashes are not off to the hot start they were last season. Five games into the 2014 season, they attained a record of 4-1, with all of those victories coming via shutouts.

However, with senior goalkeeper Stephanie Senn out until October after having surgery over the summer, Kent State coach Rob Marinaro has had to play three different goalies in the first five games. One game the Flashes even had to use senior Madison Helterbran as a substitute in one game, although she is listed as a defender/midfielder.

“We had no choice,” Marinaro said. “Three of our goalies are banged up right now.”

So far, Kent has had to rely on the services of not only Helterbran, but also freshman goalkeeper Ashleah McDonald and sophomore goalkeeper Katie Kingsbury.

With the injured three of the Flashes’ goalies, Marinaro is proud of the way the team has been battling through adversity.

“Our defense is playing very well,” he said. “The team as a whole is doing pretty well. We’ve had our moments. We just need the pieces all together and hopefully we have our goalkeeper back.”

Once again, the Flashes’ sole win at this point in the season has been of the shutout variety. However, they are still looking for their first victory of the season away from home.

But Marinaro said that is not what the Flashes are concerned with right now.

“What we’re trying to accomplish at this point is getting better every single game,” he said. “We had a little blip in the road on that one in Vermont. It wasn’t our best game, and we were disappointed.”

Marinaro noted the Flashes will look to take the “one game at a time” approach this weekend. “Butler is on Friday, and we’re going to look to improve ourselves and play the best game that we can this year,” he said. 

Player(s) to watch:

Kent State goalkeepers

Among all Division-I teams with 30 saves or more, Kent State ranks 9th in save percentage at 88.4%.

Marinaro has already started three different goalkeepers in the first five games, none of them being last year’s sole starter, Stephanie Senn. It would seem as if this entire group would be worth watching for the foreseeable future, at least until Senn makes her return.

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