Kent State soccer ready for the postseason after win at Buffalo

Lance Lysowski

Soccer team earns seventh seed in MAC playoffs with shutout victory

The Kent State soccer team defeated Buffalo 2-0 yesterday in the regular season finale, which earned the Flashes the seventh seed in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament.

The Flashes (8-8-2, 4-5-2 MAC) played shut down team defense and capitalized on their scoring opportunities to down the Bulls in the road win.

With the win and help from Western Michigan’s 0-0 draw against Northern Illinois yesterday, Kent State clinched the seventh seed in the MAC playoffs.

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said the defense played a critical role in the team’s success against Buffalo (3-15-1, 2-8-1 MAC).

“I think our overall team defense was excellent today,” Marinaro said. “It was a good hard-working effort; we made sure we came out with a positive result.”

The Flashes have consistently outshot their opponents this season, and Thursday’s game was more of the same. Kent State outshot Buffalo 18 to 7, and 10 to 2 in shots on goal.

The Flashes took a 1-0 lead shortly before the half when freshman midfielder Rachel Dennis scored her first career goal in the 43rd minute.

Senior midfielder Catharine Marosszeky recovered a throw-in, finding Dennis at midfield to set up the goal. The freshman turned towards the net and fired a shot for the score.

“It was important for us to build confidence and get back to what we know we can accomplish, which was playing a good 90 minutes,” Marinaro said. “We played well today.”

Marosszeky, who came off the bench, continued to stake her claim as one of the best player’s in program history.

The senior sealed the game for the Flashes in the 82nd minute with a penalty kick goal. Senior forward L.A. Thoma was brought down in the penalty box by a Buffalo defender, drawing a foul. Marosszeky took the penalty kick, scoring the 17th goal of her career, which ties her for fourth all-time in program history.

Marosszeky said strong play from the defense was just as important as the Flashes’ goals.

“Our defense really stepped it up, especially late in the first half,” Marosszeky said. “Our team defense was great today; we got behind the ball and stopped their opportunities.”

The Bulls continued to struggle following the goal, getting two yellow cards in less than 40 seconds. The Flashes held on for the victory, ending a three-game losing skid.

The shutout gives sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood her sixth on the season.

Kent State will begin tournament play on Sunday at 1 p.m., when they travel to Eastern Michigan.

The Flashes outshot the Eagles (10-3-6, 6-1-4 MAC) in the teams’ meeting on Oct. 4, but sophomore midfielder Chelsea Detrick’s goal in the 61st minute ended up being the lone goal and game-winner for Eastern Michigan.

Eagles’ junior goalkeeper Monique Budani paced the Eastern Michigan backline with nine saves for the shutout.

Marosszeky said the win yesterday is a great stepping-stone for the team, heading into tournament play.

“It was really important for us to get a result today,” Marosszeky said. “We’ve got some momentum as we move forward into the MAC tournament. I think it’s important as we move into the tournament that we have that foundation.”

The winner of Sunday’s game will move on to face the winner of No.3 Akron and No.6 Miami.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at mailto:[email protected].