Soccer team drops two games

Alex Atkinson

The Flashes dropped two games on its newly named Zoeller Field in their first home games since Aug. 22. The Flashes (1-8-4, 0-5-1) lost 2-0 to Eastern Michigan on Friday, and 3-2 to Central Michigan on Sunday.

Central Michigan got on the board first in the 28th minute when Chippewas forward Laura Twidle headed in a shot over Kent State’s junior goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood.

The Flashes fought right back though. Two minutes after the Chippewas’ goal, Kent State forward Kelly Heaton scored on a sliding shot from 20 yards out to tie the game 1-1.

The game was not tied for long, as the Chippewas tallied two more goals before the half was over. In the 36th minute, Central Michigan’s Valerie Prause headed in a loose ball to regain the lead. Then in the 40th minute, Chippewas’ Liesel Toth scored on a direct kick from 28 yards out to make it 3-1.

The Flashes scored once more to pull within one when senior forward Annie Messer passed a free kick from the left side of the goal box to sophomore midfielder Hannah Newhouse, who was standing in the center of the box. After a quick setup touch, Newhouse cracked a shot into the left corner of the net for her first goal of the season.

Despite playing a man down after Chippewas midfielder Bailey Brandon received a red card for delaying the game, Central Michigan was able to hold Kent State to 3-2 and pick up the victory. With the win, the Chippewas improved to 8-3-1 overall and remain undefeated in the MAC at 5-0-0.

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said he was pleased with his team’s performance against the defending MAC Champion Central Michigan.

“Disappointment in the loss, but what we need to take from today is that we are capable of playing with anybody,” Marinaro said. “If we show the fight and desire that we showed today, we can compete with anybody in this conference.”

After the upsetting loss to Eastern Michigan, the team’s strong performance on Sunday was impressive.

“I thought we closed spaces down a lot better, won a lot more loose balls,” Marnaro said. “We challenged a lot better today. And I told them, ‘This is what we’re capable of doing. We need to keep it up.’”

Heaton said she agreed Sunday’s performance was a big improvement from Friday.

“I think we played with more heart, more passion, more desire (today)” Heaton said. “At this point, we really have nothing to lose, so we wanted to show them what Kent State stands for. The previous games we didn’t show that, and this game we really came out as hard as we could. It shows what type of team we can be going against (Central Michigan) and only losing 3-2 that we can beat other teams — no problem.”

The Flashes took a frustrating 2-0 loss to Eastern Michigan on Friday. Kent State led in shots 14 to 9, but never found the back of the net.

“We weren’t outworked by any means,” junior defender Vanessa Salerno said. “The ball was in their half the majority of the time. They just got some lucky goals.”

Eastern Michigan scored in the 11th minute off a long pass from Maggie Christensen on the midfield line to Paige Sheridan, who slipped her fifth goal of the season past Sherwood to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead.

In the 30th minute, Eastern Michigan’s Katie Marsh took a shot on goal. Sherwood stepped in front of it to make the save, but the ball went through her hands. Eagles’ forward Chelsea Detrick was there to knock the loose ball into the net for her third goal of the season.

“I think we just had two mental lapses and they capitalized on them,” Kent State senior midfielder Kellyn Flanagan said.

Sherwood said the team looks to carry the momentum of Sunday’s game onto next week when the team plays at home on Zoeller Field against Toledo at 4 p.m. Friday and Ball State at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Alex Atkinson at [email protected].