KSU soccer gets revenge on reigning MAC champs


Sophomore Jenna Hellstrom attempts a shot on goal at the Kent State game against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 21, 2014. The Flashes won, 3-0.

Ben Orner

Box Score — Northern Illinois

Box Score — Western Michigan

After a successful home stand, the Kent State soccer team followed up its home-field defense with a successful road trip, in which the Flashes took down reigning MAC champions, Western Michigan.

Kent State traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday to take on the Western Michigan Broncos, the team that sent the Flashes packing in the quarterfinals of last year’s MAC tournament.

Kent State took advantage of scoring opportunities and topped the MAC West-leading Broncos, 3-1, improving its record to 7-3-2 on the year.

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said the win stemmed from his team staying focused on itself.

Friday’s Game

On Friday, Kent State tied Northern Illinois, 1-1, after no one could break the draw despite two overtime periods.

Sophomore Jenna Hellstrom netted her third goal of the season in the 37th minute to give her team a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

“It came back to contributing to play to our game and put the focus on what we can do and how we can capitalize,” Marinaro said. “Today (our team) played with a lot of confidence and created great opportunities.”

Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Senn said a lot of emotion went into her team’s play as well. The sting of last year’s quarterfinal bout lingered and remained fresh in the back of the Flashes’ minds.

“Before the game, we had to remind ourselves about how last year ended with this team and how we didn’t want to feel that way again,” she said.

Senior forward Stephanie Haugh said the team utilized its strengths, especially its speed, to secure the win.

“(The Broncos) couldn’t keep up with us, so we used that to our advantage,” Haugh said, who scored the game’s opening goal in the eighth minute.

After Kent State struck first and Haugh scored her second goal of the season just over seven minutes into the first half, Western Michigan retaliated minutes later as senior Rachel Chaney answered in the 13th minute with a score of her own that came off a steal. Other than Chaney’s lone goal, it was all Kent State from there.

In the 17th minute, sophomore Jenna Hellstrom beat the goalie to give her team the lead, and in the 74th minute, Renee Loya put the game away for Kent State with a 20-yard strike.

Sunday’s match was the first win in which the Flashes did not blank their opponent. Their previous six wins all occurred via shutout.

“We knew what we were getting ourselves into with Western Michigan,” Senn said. “We had to be really physical.”

Senn, the Flashes’ last line of defense, said the defense in front of her was on point all game.

“We communicated the whole game, tried to stay focused and got the win for everyone,” she said.

As always, Marinaro emphasized that his team’s focus will continue to be on itself.

“We’re looking into enjoying this victory and getting ready for Miami and Ball State next weekend,” he said.

Kent State returns home next weekend as the Flashes get set to play the Miami University Redhawks on Friday at 4 p.m. and the Ball State Cardinals on Sunday at 1 p.m.

­Contact Ben Orner at [email protected].