Flashes split weekend games


Kent State freshman Kristen Brots watches her shot against Western Illinois at the season opening game on Friday, August 22, 2014. The Flashes beat the Leathernecks 3-0.

Raymond Strickland

Friday’s Box Score

Sunday’s Box Score

St. Bonaventure proved to be too much for the Kent State soccer team to handle Sunday afternoon as they fell in a 1-0 shutout to the Bonnies.

The Flashes came out slow to start the game, and the Bonnies capitalized on their lack of energy. In the first half, the Bonnies struck first with the game’s only goal. 

St. Bonaventure freshman forward Danielle Vis received a crossing pass from junior forward Abby Maiello and beat Kent State goalkeeper Stephanie Senn with a high shot to Senn’s right at the 13:57 mark.

“We didn’t start off strong enough,” head coach Rob Marinaro said about Sunday’s loss. “We allowed St. Bonaventure to take the game to us in the first 45 minutes, and they capitalized and put a goal in.” 

Marinaro said the effort and energy level of the team was not there in the first 45 minutes. He said they can’t “afford” for a team to get on them in the first half the way the Bonnies did.

“You have to compete for the full 90 minutes,” Marinaro said. “They defended very well.”

Although the Flashes were unable to get the ball through the net, statistically the team recorded a multitude of shots. Kent State had an 11-6 shot advantage with an 11-1 corner kick advantage over the Bonnies. 

The Flashes came out in the second half with much higher intensity and made the Bonnies sweat until the game’s conclusion.

Senior midfielder Calli Rinicella echoed coach Marinaro’s sentiments and said the team didn’t come ready to play at the start of the game. She said it had plenty of opportunities but got unlucky. 

“If we had the same intensity we came out with in the second half, we would have for sure won the game,” Rinicella said. “We picked it up and we fought harder.”

St. Bonaventure’s goalkeeper Christina Sarokon made a couple of great saves to fend off the Flashes’ second-half surge. Sarokon saved four shots in the victory and deterred a number of other passes throughout the game.

Sophomore Jenna Hellstrom commended Sarokon on her performance.

“She made very good saves towards the end when we were pushing,” Hellstrom said. “We couldn’t get past her.”

The Bonnies defeated Kent State for the first time in team history. The Flashes were 5-0 before Sunday’s meeting. 

On Friday, Kent State managed to pull out a victory in convincing fashion against Western Illinois. 

The Flashes defeated the Leathernecks 3-0 at Zoeller Field in their 2014-2015-season opener. 

Sophomore midfielder/forward Abbie Lawson delivered the first blow in the 35th minute. The goal, which was her first career collegiate goal, found the corner of the net, blowing past the outstretched arms of Western Illinois’ goalkeeper Victoria Kappel. 

Kent State continued to build a lead when freshman forward Hayden Pascoe came in as a substitute and added to the lead at the 38:11 mark to give the Flashes a two-point lead. Pascoe capitalized on an assist by Rinicella.

In the second half, Kent State picked up right where they left off. Right out of the gates in the 51st minute, freshman Kristen Brots got in on the action, driving the ball from 12 yards away into the net and registering her first goal of the season.

Marinaro spoke of the team’s ability to utilize its strengths. He said the team was able to take advantage of speed, which contributed much to the win. Marinaro also commented on the overall team effort. 

“I think we defended and attacked really well with a lot of energy,“ Marinaro said. “We looked to get wide, around them and even play balls through the middle. I think that was the difference.”

From the opening tap, the Flashes executed better Friday than Sunday. Hellstrom said they played better as a team and displayed a lot more intensity. 

“We came out really hard,” Hellstrom said. “I think that was the big difference between Friday’s game and [Sunday’s] game.”

The team also played with heavy hearts in honor of Jason Bitsko, a fellow Kent State student-athlete and football player who died unexpectedly Wednesday. 

“We had a lot of support in the stands — together as a unit we came together,” Rinicella said. “We were supporting each other, and we played off of it. We had more emotion and more momentum.”

Throughout the game, junior goalkeeper Stephanie Senn played passionately. The Leathernecks had six shots on goal, but Senn didn’t let any of them slip through her fingers. She recorded her first win on the season and a shutout as well. 

The soccer team will head to Las Vegas to compete in the UNLV tournament. The Flashes will face St. Francis University August 29 at 4:30 p.m.

Contact Ray Strickland at [email protected].