Soccer still winless in the MAC

Alex Atkinson

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said the soccer team will have success this weekend against Toledo and Ball State if the defense can tighten its coverage, while maintaining intensity throughout the game.

“Right now our focus is on a tight defense, high intensity and then trying to play at a high intensity defense,” he said.

Junior defensive midfielder Jenni Stapleton said she feels the defense will be fine as long as the unit fills its roles.

“I think as long as we’re tight on defense and playing as one unit,” she said. “That’s really how we’re going to shut them down.”

Toledo enters the game with a nine-game winning streak. The Rockets are tied with Central Michigan at the top of the Mid-American Conference West Division with an undefeated 6-0-0 MAC record. The Rockets are second in the MAC with 210 shots in 14 games and six shutouts.

After he Flashes lost to Central Michigan 3-2 on Sunday, the team has a new found confidence.

“Sunday really prepared us well for this weekend,” senior midfielder Kellyn Flanagan said. “That’s the most goals (Central Michigan) has had scored on them in 17 games.”

After last weekend’s success, Marinaro doesn’t plan on changing the formation the team ran on Sunday.

“We’re mostly focused in on a 4-3-3 (formation),” Marinaro said. “It’s created more offense, so we’ll most likely look to play in that formation.”

Marinaro said he predicts tomorrow’s game will be similar to last Sunday’s game against Central Michigan.

“I think we built our confidence after the Central Michigan game, and it’s going to be a very similar game,” Marinaro said.

Ball State is currently sixth in the MAC West Division with a 0-5-1 conference record. The only statistic the Cardinals lead with in the MAC is fouls and yellow cards––right above the second place Kent State.

Although the Cardinals are aggressive, Marinaro said he is not worried Kent State will be distracted by the physicality the game might have.

“I think we’ve shown pretty strong composure, especially in the last few weekends,” Marinaro said.

Action begins at 4 p.m. Friday as Kent State (1-8-4, 0-5-1 MAC) hosts Toledo. The Flashes will finish their second game in three days as Ball State comes to Zoeller Field at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Alex Atkinson at [email protected].