Junior transfer leads soccer team

Lance Lysowski

Opponents often think twice before dribbling the ball through Kent State’s midfield because standing in their way is junior midfielder Kellyn Flanagan.

The Wisconsin transfer and former top-50 soccer recruit from Medina High School routinely slide tackles at midfield, robbing opponents of the ball. Flanagan, the team’s leading scorer, is making an immediate impact for the Flashes up front and with her defensive prowess at midfield.

Sports reporter Lance Lysowski sat down with Flanagan about her transition to Kent State and the goals she hopes to accomplish while she’s here.

During your time at Wisconsin, did you learn anything that helped improve your game?

I learned to work hard, and I think you learn there what you learn at any school when you go to college. It’s going to be faster paced, more competitive and more physical.

Why did you choose Kent State?

I decided I was going to transfer, and I knew I wanted to go somewhere in Ohio. I had been away, and I was ready to come closer to home. I looked at OU, Dayton and here. The coaches had a lot to offer and they were persistent. I liked their style of coaching and their coaching mentality, so I felt that was what I was looking for.

If there was a shootout competition among all of the girls on the team, who would win?

I would say probably Kelsey Knoll or Katelyn Warnke. I played in high school with (Warnke), so she’s pretty good at those.

Was it difficult finding chemistry with your teammates on the field when training sessions began?

I started training with Kent in the summer, so that helped me become more comfortable. I wasn’t just out of the blue meeting 20 new girls. When I came here in the fall, I already knew the girls I was training with once or twice a week. It was a pretty easy transition.

You are listed as a midfielder on the team’s roster, but do you see yourself as more of a forward?

Growing up, that was always the question I’ve been asked: defense or mid-forward? I’ve kind of played everywhere. I think I’m more offensive-minded, so it’s easy to see myself as a forward.

Were there any girls on the team, specifically, that made the transition of transferring to a new school easier?

Well, I knew Katelyn Warnke and Hannah Johnson from high school. They were really good friends of mine, so they obviously made life easier, transferring from Wisconsin. I think Cat Marosszeky, being quite the veteran here. I knew I could ask her any question or she was always there. The whole team was welcoming, but definitely those three.

As a player who excels at making slide tackles at midfield, does it ever become fun “robbing” the opponent of the ball?

Oh yeah, definitely. When I was a kid, my coach said he was going to put mattresses on the whole field because I was on the ground so much. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I’ve never been afraid to do it. If you win the ball it’s even better, and if you don’t get there in time and get a little bit of the player, that’s fun, too.

How would you describe the personality of this year’s team?

We work hard and play hard. I think we have a lot of heart, but we’re also a very entertaining group. We have a lot of very vibrant personalities. As much fun as we have, we work harder and play harder. I think it’s a great combination.

After gathering your first impressions of the group, were you surprised by a specific player after you got to know them?

I was surprised by Vanessa Salerno. I think she was a pretty shocking person because she can come off as a little bit intimidating. She is a very respectful person, but she is just hilarious. You just wouldn’t expect both things to go together, but she surprised me a little bit.

With one more year of eligibility after this season, what are some goals you would like to accomplish?

Well, it kind of stinks that I only have two years, and this year, so far, we haven’t had quite the record we wanted to, especially in the (Mid-American Conference). But there are a few games left in the season to accomplish some of the goals we wanted, such as the MAC tournament. Next year, I definitely think it would be fun to be the best team in the MAC and make it to the NCAA tournament and win the MAC tournament.


Kellyn Flanagan

Games played: 15

Games started: 15

Goals: 4

Assists: 2

Points: 10

Shots on goal: 20

Game-winning goals: 3

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].