Soccer team’s season ends in conference tournament opener

Matt Lofgren

The Kent State soccer team accomplished a lot this season and has plenty to be proud of, despite a season-ending 2-1 loss to Buffalo Sunday at Zoeller Field.  

Turning things around from last season’s tough 4-10-4 campaign to a 12-win season has taken hard work, dedication and trust; trust in one another that they can do anything as a team. It is that can-do attitude that has gotten them far this season, coach Rob Marinaro believes.

“You have got to give our student-athletes a lot of credit for the turn around,” Marinaro said. “They won four games last year and then turned it around this year for 12 wins and the MAC East title, and it’s well deserved. They should be really happy with what they did this year.”

Having a big turn around like what the Flashes had this year was due in large part to the team’s seniors. Five seniors played their last game Sunday: Vanessa Salerno, Kelly Sherwood, Jenni Stapleton, Gabi Ingram and Hannah Johnson. Marinaro says he was honored to have all of them play for the team.

“That’s a terrific group of young ladies that really bought into what we were trying to accomplish,” Marinaro said. “As seniors, they set the tempo and lead the way in such a respectful and prideful way and it just led everyone to follow and do things the right way.”

Sophomore Jaclyn Dutton had the lone goal Sunday afternoon on a free kick from 22 yards out that tied the game at one in the 52nd minute.

Twenty-eight seconds later, the Bulls answered right back with a goal to grab the 2-1 lead.

The Flashes had a few more chances to tie, but in the end fell short of extending an impressive season.

Defensively, the Flashes let the Bulls have seven shots on goal, but goalie Kelly Sherwood made five saves.

Looking forward, the Flashes still have a very young and talented group to come next season. Four every-game starters are returning to the team and many more underclassmen saw significant playing time.

“I think you saw a lot of improvement from a lot of players and the feature of this program is looking bright,” Marinaro said. 

Contact Matt Lofgren at

[email protected] and @gonzoEdu.


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