KSU soccer splits weekend, needs to fight for playoff spot


Redshirt freshman forward/midfielder Doni Capehart controls the ball in the game against Central Michigan on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. The Flashes lost, 0-1.

Ben Orner

In a crucial weekend full of playoff implications for the Kent State soccer team, the Flashes are still alive — barely.

With games Friday and Sunday, Kent State faced off against two of the MAC’s worst teams in Toledo (4-6 MAC) and Central Michigan (4-6 MAC), respectively. The Flashes came away with a dominating win against Toledo but couldn’t pull it together in a tough loss to Central Michigan.

The Flashes hosted the Rockets and cruised to a 3-0 victory Friday. Sophomore Jenna Hellstrom scored in the 29th minute with a goal from the middle of the box received on a pass from freshman Karli Paracca. 

Senior Stephanie Haugh tacked on two goals for the Flashes in the 53rd and 67th minutes. The win marked the Flashes’ seventh shutout of the season.

Kent State couldn’t capitalize on the momentum Sunday as the tables were turned in a 1-0 shutout by Central Michigan in the Flashes’ last home game of the season. The game was scoreless until Central Michigan’s Jennifer Gassman headed in the game’s lone goal in the 65th minute of regulation.

Missed opportunities was the theme yet again for the Flashes, who outshot the Chippewas, 15-11.

“It’s just crucial moments in the game,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said. “(Central Michigan) was successful on one of their set pieces, and we were a little unlucky on some of ours. Those are opportunities where you make the most of them.”

Freshman midfielder Kristen Brots said she and her teammates needs to hold their heads high and get back to their winning ways.

“We’re going to support each other and do what we need to do as a team,” Brots said.

The weekend’s one win proved to be important, as the Flashes only dropped from fifth to sixth in the MAC standings. With one game to go for every team, eight teams will move on to the playoffs and four will go home.

Kent State travels to Athens, Ohio on Thursday to take on the Ohio Bobcats (3-7 MAC).

“That’s a big game for us,” Brots said. 

Thursday’s match against Ohio carries some heavy playoff consequences.

Kent State has 14 points, and the two teams tied for eighth, Toledo and Central Michigan (12 points), can push Kent State out of the playoffs with one win apiece and a Kent State loss.

“Our play has been inconsistent,” Marinaro said. “We need to find that consistency to be successful, and we’re going to need it to be successful in the playoffs.”

If the Flashes can’t beat Ohio this week, though, they might not even make the playoffs.

Contact Ben Orner at [email protected].