KSU soccer team hopes to have competitive edge

Alex Atkinson

A very competitive atmosphere surrounds the Kent State women’s soccer team. With nine senior women from the team graduating last year, the Flashes have many open positions.

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro is excited to see the direction Kent State’s soccer program is taking. He said this incoming group is one of the Flashes’ most balanced teams to attack one of the program’s more difficult schedules ever — a schedule that does not include a home game the entire month of September.

After its season opener on Aug. 22, the team will start a 10-game road trip spanning 40 days.

“Our youth and athleticism are deeper than ever before,” Marinaro said. “We are very athletic and will have the opportunity to compete for a championship. We have a strong team this year.”

This depth and overall balanced level of talent make Kent State a better built team, Marinaro said. He could not answer, which side of the field he felt would be stronger.

“We’re very well-balanced,” Marinaro said. “With our depth, we’ll be able to absorb more (injuries). We’re not relying on just two players.”


2009 record: 8-9-2 (4-5-2, 7th)

Key returner: Midfielder Kellyn Flanagan. Flanagan is the Flashes’ leading returning offensive threat. Three of her four goals last season were game winners for Kent State.

Key departure: Catharine Marosszeky. Marosszeky tallied four goals and three assists in her final year at Kent State. Her graduation leaves a hole in the offensive third that the Flashes will need to fill.

Key rookie/breakout: Defender Morgan Mah. Coming to Kent State from Edmonton, Alberta, Mah participated in Canada’s U-20 women’s soccer camp.

2009 MAC finish: 3-0 loss to Eastern Michigan in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals.

2010 Prospects: The Kent State women’s soccer team is a strong contender in the MAC this season. The addition of eight talented newcomers gives the Flashes a deeper team than last season.

The team also feels more prepared to finish out games and improve from last year’s 8-9-2 (4-5-2 Mid-American Conference) record. Senior forward Josee Charron said she has faith this team is different.

“I believe that this year we will have that extra motivation and killer instinct to finish off teams,” she said. “I am confident that we will have a better record this year.”

In addition to Charron, Kent State returns several experienced players this season. Midfielder Kellyn Flanagan returns to the pitch for her final season at Kent State. The senior was second in the team last year in scoring with four goals and second in points with 10 points.

Senior Annie Messer will look to start where she left off last year. The forward led Kent State with four assists in 17 games.

Messer also led the conference in shots taken last season with 65, with a team-leading 32 of those on goal.

On defense, Gabi Ingram will provide key experience. The junior defender started all of Kent State’s 19 games last season.

Between the posts, Kelly Sherwood returns after recording six shutouts in 19 games last season. Her 1.07 goals-against average ranked 10th in the conference.

The Flashes’ first game and home opener is on Aug. 22 against Illinois State at the Kent State Soccer Field.

Contact news correspondent Alex Atkinson at [email protected].