Kent State soccer celebrates third consecutive MAC win

AJ Atkinson


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Video by Patrick Sweeney

Kent State’s historic soccer season

  • With Sunday’s win, the Flashes are now 8-1 in games decided by one goal this season.
  • Five Kent State players are in double figures in scoring, the most in the program’s 15-year history.
  • The Flashes are now 6-11-1 all-time against the Bobcats.
  • Haugh’s assist on Sunday’s game-winner is her second time clinching victory for the Flashes this past weekend. Haugh scored the game-winning goal against Akron on Friday.
  • Now four points ahead of Ohio in the standings with one game to play, Kent State claimed the MAC-East regular season title, their first since the 2004 season.
  • The Flashes conclude regular season action Oct. 27 at Buffalo for a 3 p.m. contest. The Flashes will be in quarterfinal action on Oct. 30. The top seed after quarterfinal play will host the remainder of the tournament Nov. 4 and 6.
  • Seniors Kelly Sherwood, Jenni Stapleton, Hannah Johnson, Gabi Ingram and Vanessa Salerno were honored prior to Sunday’s game for Senior’ Day.

With 20 seconds remaining in scoreless game against Mid-American Conference rival Ohio University, freshman Stephanie Haugh quickly sets the ball for Kent State’s ninth corner kick of the game.

Haugh’s kick is right on target for the center of the penalty box. In a cluster of Ohio defenders, Kent State sophomore defender Katherine Lawrence heads the ball straight up in the air.

The ball slowly comes back down to the field. Seven seconds are left when junior defender Sara Henderson goes up and wins the second head ball opportunity.

Three, two, one. The ball lands at junior forward Megan Repas’ feet.

She cracks a shot from inside the penalty box that hits the back of the net. No time left on the clock. All coaches, fans and players face the head referee.

He signals a goal.

Kent State players jump and embrace each other, celebrating their sixth MAC win and third in a row. Ohio stands in shock. Kent State’s bench sprints to embrace goal-scorer Repas. Ohio’s players go from shock to rage against the referee.

Repas said she was filled with two very different emotions after the goal.

“I wanted to cry (from joy after the goal) and they were arguing,” Repas said. “I was like, ‘No. That went in.’”

Kent State senior defender Gabi Ingram said in all her soccer years, she has never seen such a goal.

“This season we have scored two goals in the last three minutes of a game, but I’ve never seen anything literally in the last second, so it was awesome,” Ingram said.

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said the walk-off goal was a first in his lifetime and was quite an experience. The 11-year head coach said he was happy to see his team win based on the Flashes outplaying the Bobcats and was happy for how they won for the seniors on Senior Day.

“I think it’s a great tribute to our senior class who have lead us with great leadership,” Marinaro said. “They’ve set a standard for us with a lot of class and respect, and it’s fantastic they get to finish at home in this manner in the regular season.”

Ingram, one of the five seniors on the team, said it was a perfect way to end her final game at Zoeller Field.


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“It seems just yesterday I was the one decorating out here at the field,” Ingram said. “For me to come out and get this (win) is just great, and I wouldn’t want to share this with any other team than this one right here.”

Marinaro did have some criticisms on how his team played. The Flashes held Ohio to only two off target shots in the first half, while taking 14 shots and six on target themselves.

“I thought that we should have come away with at least one or two (goals) in the first half, but that’s the game and you continue plugging away,” Marinaro said. “I think you need to give us a lot of credit for continuing to fight. Even with the countdown on the clock they put one away.”

The Flashes look to keep their momentum rolling in MAC play as they close the season Thursday in Buffalo against the Bulls.

Contact AJ Atkinson at [email protected] and @aj_atkinson.