Central Michigan tops Flashes to finish weekend play

Matt Lofgren

The Kent State soccer team split the weekend series in Michigan, collecting a win against Eastern Michigan Friday and falling to Central Michigan yesterday.

Friday the Flashes beat Eastern Michigan (0-9-1, 0-3-0 Mid-American Conference) for the first time since 2006 in thrilling fashion. After grabbing the lead in the 51st minute of the game off the foot of Sara Henderson, the Flashes’ defense worked hard to suffocate a late push by the Eagles.

In the 86th minute, the Eagles cracked the defense and found the back of the net, tying the game at one apiece. Just over a minute later sophomore Jaclyn Dutton scored what would be her second game-winning goal of the season and her fifth goal of the season.

“To have the game tied up, I thought we responded very well,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said. “We became the aggressor in the game and Jaclyn Dutton ripped off a tremendous shot, but the team pulled together and played extremely well to finish off with a win.”

Junior Megan Repas had the assist on both goals.

Senior goalie Kelly Sherwood had a season high in saves with eight and was crucial in preserving the win, stopping two corner kicks and a final shot on target.

“We took the lead again, and Eastern did a great job of responding and putting pressure right back on us,” Marinaro said. “We withstood the pressure and the goal keeper all the way up played well.”

Friday’s win just goes to show how tough the MAC is this year. Even against a winless Eagles squad, the Flashes needed everyone coming together for the win.

“The entire MAC conference comes down to that day, you have to perform well each game because otherwise you run the risk of losing,” Marinaro said. “The parodies are very strong and you have to show up every single day.”

Sunday’s game against Central Michigan was a completely different story all together as the Flashes fell to Central Michigan 3-0.

Ranked number four in the Great Lakes Region, the Chippewas (8-1-2, 2-0-2) are a premiere team in the MAC. Central Michigan scored goals in the 22nd, 45th and 58th minute.

“Central is a very good team, but we didn’t show the completive spirit that we are used to bringing into the game, and that’s where you get the 3-0 result,” Marinaro said.

On the day the Flashes were out shot by the Chippewas 17-to-5 and 9-to-3 on shots on goal. Sherwood made her best effort with six saves in the effort.

“We struggled to find a rhythm today and that put a lot of pressure on our defense,” Marinaro said. “Our defense actually played quite well today–but against a team like Central Michigan– you make some mistakes and they’ll find ways to capitalize.”

With the weekend results, the Flashes are now 8-4 on the season and 2-2 in the MAC. The Flashes are right on the heels of Akron for a share of the MAC East standings.

The Flashes will return home on Friday Oct. 7 to take on Western Michigan at 4 p.m.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] and @gonzoEDU.