Kent State women’s soccer improves to 3-0 against Morehead State


Daily Kent Stater file photo.

Matt Lofgren

There’s something about playing under the lights of a crowded stadium that makes a regular season game into something special.

Friday night at Morehead State, the Kent State women’s soccer team got a special performance out of sophomore forward Jessacca Gironda to grab a 1-0 victory over the Eagles and improve to 3-0-0 on the year.

Scoring her third goal of the season, sophomore forward Jessacca Gironda put the Flashes on top for good in the 50th minute of the match.

“Jackie (Dutton) was open at the top of the 18 and she took a shot and the goalie barely tipped it and it hit the post and bounced back out,” Gironda said. “I was just there for the rebound and put it in. I think there was a lot of build up to it, I feel the defense felt it too because we put a lot of pressure on them during the game.”

The game also marked the second straight 1-0 victory for the Flashes. With back to back shutouts over St. Bonaventure and now Morehead State, the Flashes have a scoreless streak that dates back to Aug. 19 against Cleveland State, and has accumulated over 235 minutes of scoreless play.

Early on in the match, it was evident that calls were not going to go in favor of the Flashes, but still, the team battled forward. Playing on field turf was another large adjustment the team had to make as the speed of the ball was greatly changed compared to home matches on grass.

Perhaps the largest obstacle the team made was dealing with a big crowd, under the lights and on the road.

“We faced some adversity during the game, we didn’t get some calls in the beginning and we weren’t winging a lot of the head balls and we just weren’t playing out game to begin with,” Gironda said. “It took us a few minutes to get into it, but then we played our game and everyone got into it and we started doing really well.”

Defense, other than Gironda’s goal, is what won the game for the Flashes. Morehead State was only able to get off a total of five shots during the match, four of which were saved by senior goalie Kelly Sherwood.

“Our defensive four, the back line had a really nice game and limited Morehead State to very low opportunity in the offensive third,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said. “The entire team did a great job of defending really well and Kelly Sherwood had another solid game in the goal.”

Friday night’s game against the Eagles marked the 10th career shutout for Sherwood. Overall this year, the senior leader has only allowed two goals, which speaks volumes about not only her, but the entire team. Marinaro knows his message of playing strong defense not only individually, but as a team is a big factor in the Flashes early successes.

Growing stronger as a team, Marinaro feels his girls have matured together from last season to become a well-rounded group that communicates to keep everyone on the same page.

“You can see us building confidence, as we pick up wins you see a lot of the kids step up and feel a lot more comfortable in their roles with communication,” Marinaro said. “We’ve been getting really good leadership from our seniors at this point, they’re communicating and directing the game very well.”

The Flashes will head to San Francisco to take on California as a part of the California Invitational on Friday at 7 p.m.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].