Soccer improves to 4-1 in nailbiter at Cleveland State

Ben Orner

Box score

With just nine minutes to go in a scoreless match at Cleveland State, Kent State junior midfielder Madison Helterbran rocketed a free kick into the net, just out of the reach of Cleveland State’s Sarah Wood as the Flashes mustered their third 1-0 victory in a row.

After senior Stephanie Haugh was fouled after crossing the box, Helterbran took the free kick from the top of the penalty arc in the 83rd minute and scored the deciding goal and her first of the season.

“What was going through my head was that I didn’t need to get over the ball, and just give it a chance, and it went in,” Helterbran said about her game-winning goal.

Kent State head coach Rob Marinaro said the team “did a real good job pressuring [the Vikings] throughout the game,” and Helterbran’s goal capped the effort.

“Fortunately that was a great opportunity we got, and Madison Helterbran did a fantastic job putting it away,” Marinaro said.

Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Senn recorded her third straight shutout and fourth of the season. Senn has given up only one goal this season, which was in a 1-0 loss to St. Bonaventure in the second game of the season. Senn said she had a lot of help against Cleveland State.

“I didn’t have much to do back there,” she said. “My defense worked really hard.”

Kent State (4-1) brought a lot more firepower than the Vikings (3-4), as Cleveland State’s star goalie Sarah Wood was forced to make seven saves, while Senn only had to make one. The Flashes also outshot Cleveland State, 17-3, and had eight shots on goal to the Vikings’ one.

The 1-0 victory halted the Vikings’ three-game winning streak, and extended the Flashes’ win streak to three. Keeping up this momentum will be key as the team prepares to travel to Louisville next week. The Flashes will then play a four-game home stand at Zoeller Field.

“We just have to stay focused and never settle for what we did the week before,” Senn said. 

Marinaro said his Flashes need to understand what makes them successful.

“The hard work and dedication and everyone playing their roles the best they possibly can,” Marinaro said. “We’ve done a real good job with that the last few games, but we can’t have any letdowns. We need to continue to work very hard.”

Kent State will play the University of Louisville Cardinals on Sunday, Sept. 14, in Louisville. The Cardinals are currently 2-3 with one game to play before their match against the Flashes.

Contact Ben Orner at [email protected].