If you head out to Zoeller Field to catch a Kent State women’s soccer game, you will notice the newly renovated stadium, maybe see a few friends — and Kelly Sherwood will be in goal.
No one on the Flashes has logged more minutes on the field than senior Kelly Sherwood. In fact, to this day Sherwood has logged more than 5,000 minutes in front of the net, making her the biggest constant on the team.
Since being red-shirted her freshman year in 2007, Sherwood has seen it all. She started 12 games in her first season (2008) and made a five-save impact in Kent State’s 100th win as a Division-I program, which came against Akron.
In her sophomore campaign she played every minute of every game the Flashes played in ’09 and posted a record of 8-9-2. Sherwood posted back-to-back shutouts against Ball State and Miami (Ohio), which earned her Mid-American Conference player of the week honors for the first time. 2009 was also kind to Sherwood offensively as she recorded her first collegiate assist and the only assist ever by a Kent State goalie.
But Sherwood isn’t banking on her past successes to help her this year. Coming into this year, Sherwood ranks second all-time in shutouts for the Flashes with eight, but this season alone she has three.
Her goals-against average this year is a respectable 1.47 while letting in 12 goals in eight games and accumulating 33 saves. A lot of Sherwood’s job has been made easier by the outstanding team defense the Flashes have demonstrated all season.
Just seeing Sherwood in goal gives the impression of why she is perfect for the job. She stands at 5’11” and has the height to stop all the tough-angled shots, and the quickness to make her one of the premier goalies in the MAC.
But soccer isn’t everything to Sherwood, she is just a typical student-athlete majoring in exercise physiology. She stays close with her teammates off the field when she is not studying for a test.
The true test begins for the Flashes this Friday against Miami with the kickoff of conference play at home. Sherwood feels the team is ready to make 2011 a memorable year for the team.
“I think we’re ready, we’re all really excited for the MAC (play) to start so I think we’re prepared,” Sherwood said. “We need to keep up with the communication and stay organized if we want to be successful.”
Sherwood is one of five seniors on the Flashes roster who leads this team every week emotionally. Kent State coach Rob Marinaro holds a high standard for his upperclassmen and can always rely on Sherwood in front of the net.
“Defense has been our strength all year, all the girls have come together in the effort to help Kelly,” Marinaro said. “She keeps us in games when she performs well and gets help from others.”
Whatever it is Sherwood is doing, it is really working for the Flashes, who have a 6-2 record and are 4-0 at home. Miami comes to town Friday at 4 p.m. and Bowling Green Sunday at 1 p.m.
Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] or gonzoEdu.