Johl sends Flashes to victory over Ohio with overtime goal

Nick Shook

Kent State has been involved in close games all season, but unfortunately for the Flashes, many have resulted in tough losses. Friday’s game versus Ohio (15-4, 8-1 Mid-American Conference) produced a different result, as the Flashes won a thrilling overtime contest, 2-1.

Kent State (6-12, 4-5 MAC) played outstanding defense for much of the contest and went into overtime with the conference-leading Bobcats. The defensive struggle continued into the final minute of overtime, when Flashes’ senior Carla Johl scored with two seconds remaining to give the Flashes the win and snap their four-game losing streak.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Johl said.

Kent State began the contest by taking an early lead on a goal from Julia Hofmann in the 12th minute of action. Defense took over following the goal, as Kent State prevented Ohio from scoring in the first half.

Both teams continued to play strong defense in the second half, but Ohio was able to tie the game on Jessica Jue’s goal in the 56th minute. The two teams entered a war of attrition in the final 14 minutes of regulation, as both Kent State and Ohio were able to register multiple shots on goal, but neither reached the back of the goal as the score remained tied at 1-1. Flashes’ freshman goalkeeper Jahna Jordan made nine saves during the game, including multiple saves in the minutes leading up to overtime.

“I had to be more aggressive and step up when the ball was coming,” Jordan said.

“Overall, as a defensive unit, we worked all week on being aggressive,” Kent State coach Kathleen Wiler said. “I think Jahna’s aggressive play, you could see today, she came up with some really great saves and with the help of her defense, played a great game.”

Jordan wasn’t the only player who exemplified the meaning of defense. Johl and sophomore Rebecca Lee used their bodies to block shots taken by Ohio. Johl’s use of her body to stop a shot resulted in a welt on her thigh.

“It’s a little bit sore, there’s a little bit of a bump there, but you know, it’s part of the game,” Johl said.

Jordan’s strong performance boosted her confidence, which will be important for the Flashes as they head into the conference tournament.

“I finally found like my little my niche where I made same crucial saves,” Jordan said. “Finally, it’s coming together.”

The Flashes, who entered the weekend with a 5-12 overall record, are still in contention for second place in the MAC after defeating Ohio. Kent State trails second-place Central Michigan by one game, and the two teams will square off in the season finale Saturday morning at Murphy-Mellis Field.

“This was a big game for us,” Johl said. “We really wanted to come out here and make a change with this last part of our season and come out and protect our home field and sort of show the MAC and prove ourselves.”

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected] and @Shookie_Cookie.