Soccer rally’s late to tie Pittsburgh

Alex Akinson

The Kent State soccer team (1-2-2) scored the equalizing goal late in the game and held on through overtime to maintain a 1-1 tie against Pittsburgh last night at Pittsburgh.

The late goal came from freshman forward/midfielder Jessacca Gironda to tie the game with just one minute left in regulation.

“She had a great finish, and showed composure to put it in,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said.

Gironda, who kicked her fourth goal of the season in the match, said the team’s consistent gameplay throughout the match gave them the drive to tie the Panthers.

“We never gave up today, and it really showed at the end of the game,” she said.

Though, this isn’t the only time the Flashes have shown drive late in the game.

Last week, Kellyn Flanagan’s game winner against FGCU was also late in the game. Her goal came in the 79th minute.

“We’ve come from behind a lot this season,” Marinaro said. “We just need to get a faster start to the game so we don’t get behind.

“Our intensity was strong late in the game, and our dynamic when the game is on the line really shows our character.”

In their previous four matches against Pittsburgh, the Flashes have lost by just one goal. Fearing last night’s game would be the fifth-straight loss in their team’s history, the Flashes put together one last drive.

The play began with a pass from seniors Kellyn Flanagan to Kelly Heaton. Heaton then passed the ball to Gironda, who put a quick touch on the ball that just passed the Panther’s goalkeeper.

“The build-up to the goal showed our composure under pressure,” Marinaro said. “We strung together four or five passes before that to set Jessacca [Gironda] up for the goal.”

Pittsburgh’s lone goal came in the 36th minute when Liz Carroll cut through the middle of Kent’s defense and fed a pass to Ashley Cuba. Cuba then slipped a far post shot just past the reach of Flashes’ goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood to give Pittsburgh the early lead.

Pittsburgh outshot Kent State 12-8, but seven of the Flashes’ shots came after halftime.

Pittsburgh goalkeeper Morie Kephart finished with three saves, while Sherwood finished with two saves for the Flashes.

Kent State continues this ten game road trip, as the team travels to face Indiana University next Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Alex Akinson at [email protected].