Soccer shut out against Akron

Lance Lysowski

Offense falters, held scoreless at home

Kent State sophomore midfielder Gabi Ingram fights for the ball against freshman midfielder Katie Wise. Akron beat Kent State 1-0 yesterday. Emily Horne | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State soccer team’s offense got plenty of looks yesterday but failed to convert on opportunities as the Flashes (7-8-2, 3-5-2 Mid-American Conference) fell to Akron, 1-0.

Kent State’s frontline out-chanced both opponents this weekend but failed to score. The Flashes lost their second overtime match in a row Friday when Kent State fell to Ohio 1-0. Yesterday the Flashes showed energy in the first half, but Akron’s goal in the 87th minute won the game for the Zips on senior day.

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said both teams were well matched, but Akron won by taking advantage of their key opportunity.

“I think both teams were high intensity, a lot of high work rate, and they capitalized on one and took the points home,” Marinaro said.

The Flashes began the game with quick play and plenty of opportunities by the offense, most notably when junior forward Kelly Heaton’s back-heel shot sailed above the net in the 38th minute.

Junior forward Annie Messer said the Flashes’ offense was thwarted by chance.

“We got looks, but we’re just really unlucky,” Messer said. “It’s happened all year, and it’s frustrating.”

In the second half, Akron (8-6-2, 6-3-1 MAC) began to pressure the Kent State backline with cross passes that turned into breakaway chances, but sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood kept the game scoreless.

After challenging an Akron forward in the 71st minute, Sherwood made back-to-back stops in the 79th minute from 10 yards out.

Kent State outshot the Zips 14 to 11 on the game and 10 to 7 in the second half, but minutes before the end of regulation, Akron capitalized.

Akron junior forward Jordan Clark took a free kick from 24 yards. Clark’s line-drive shot struck the netting in the top right-hand corner of the net for the goal.

“They capitalized and they scored a really nice free kick so that was the tell-tale sign today,” Marinaro said. “It needs to be a hard team effort and today we fell short.”

Akron held on for the win, but Messer said following the Akron goal, Kent State’s mentality didn’t change.

“We just keep doing what we’re doing, and we know it’s going to fall,” Messer said. “It just didn’t happen today. There isn’t really anything you can do but stay focused.”

Friday’s game against Ohio (8-6-2, 5-2-2 MAC) was a struggle for both teams. The Flashes and Bobcats endured continuing rain and sloppy field conditions.

In the second half, Kent State began finding the net with five shots on goal compared to none by Ohio.

In the 62nd minute, senior defender Beth Diederich charged up the left side, firing a shot on net. Ohio senior goalkeeper Jess MacLean deflected the attempt, but Kent State freshman forward Megan Repas tried to tap in the rebound at near post. The ball laid on the goal line until MacLean covered it.

The game went into overtime, where Ohio took little time to close the game out. Ohio freshman midfielder Cathryn Rogers fired a shot from five yards out. Sherwood blocked the shot, but Rogers was there for the rebound.

“I mean weather conditions and it getting back into overtime, it’s something where one mistake can count against you,” Marinaro said. “We should have been the better team today, and unfortunately we weren’t.”

The Flashes wrap up the regular season Thursday when they travel to Buffalo (3-13-1, 2-6-1 MAC). Kent State will try to hold onto seventh place in the MAC in hopes of making the top eight to advance to the MAC Tournament.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected]