Soccer team splits weekend

Lance Lysowski

Flashes edge Penguins in double OT

GLENNIS SIEGFRIED | DAILY KENT STATER Junior forward Annie Messer steals the ball from a Pittsburgh player during Friday’s game at Kent State Soccer Field. Messer attempted one shot on goal in the Flashes’ 0-1 loss to the Panthers.

Credit: DKS Editors

RACHEL KILROY | DAILY KENT STATER Junior forward Annie Messer plows through a Youngstown State defender on Sunday. The Flashes won 1-0 in double overtime.

Credit: DKS Editors

Coming into the weekend, the Kent State soccer team continued to play tight defense.

The only problem is the Flashes (2-2) have not continued that style of play through entire games, which led to a win and a loss this weekend.

“I think it is a fantastic group of young ladies,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said. “We put the process together and continue to improve … now we need to look to continue that for 90 minutes.”

The Flashes showed progress across the board this weekend, with results showing in one of the contests. The Flashes traveled to Youngstown (2-2-1) on Sunday and recorded a 1-0 double-overtime victory, improving the team’s record to .500. On Friday, Kent State lost a defensive battle to Pittsburgh (3-0), 1-0.

Marinaro got what he was looking for against Youngstown State. Kent State controlled every aspect of the game against the Penguins, outshooting Youngstown 10-to-1 and dictating the tempo of the game.

Youngstown sophomore forward Kara Cooper, who has five goals and two assists on the season, consistently tested the Flashes defense, but Marinaro said the team was ready for the challenge.

“You can never lose sight of a kid that is that athletic and that tremendous of a soccer player,” Marinaro said. “As soon as we lost possession, all eyes went over to 34 (Cooper), and we made sure we knew where she was at all times.”

With only 30 seconds left in the second overtime, junior forward Kelly Heaton was fouled on an illegal tackle outside of the penalty box by Youngstown State freshman midfielder Katie Peterlin. The foul resulted in a free kick by senior midfielder Catherine Marosszeky, who buried the game winner in the top-right corner of the net.

“It was hard to get in on those little opportunities that we did have and to come away with the ‘W’ in the end was extremely important,” Marosszeky said. “It will definitely boost our confidence going into New Mexico next week and into the MAC.”

The goal, Marosszeky’s 14th of her career, puts the senior at fifth all-time in program history.

The Flashes held their own Friday against Pittsburgh, now ranked 25th in Soccer America’s national poll. Kent State played a tough defensive game, holding the Panthers to only four shots on goal, and sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood was once again impressive.

Her most critical set of saves came after a corner kick by Heaton was countered by a Pittsburgh fast break. Sherwood left the goal to challenge the Panthers, smothering the ball and keeping the game scoreless.

“We saw our goalkeeper (Sherwood) step up in a huge role today and keep us in the game,” Marinaro said.

The Flashes’ defense limited Pittsburgh’s opportunities until two minutes into the second half when freshman midfielder Ashley Cuba sped up the left side of the field with the ball, drawing two Kent State defenders to her. Cuba passed the ball to senior forward Ashley Habbel for the one-timer goal.

Marosszeky said allowing a goal in the early moments of the second half can be critical, but being forgetful is important.

“Sometimes it can deflate a team easily, but we kept our heads up; we kept going, and we kept looking for a goal,” Marosszeky said. “That’s all you can do.”

The Flashes fought to the very last seconds of the game, but even though they came up short, Marinaro said he liked what he saw.

“It’s encouraging that we’re doing well, but we live in a world of results so we need to look for the win,” Marinaro said. “We just need to keep battling away.”

The Flashes will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to participate in a tournament this weekend where they will face Tulsa on Friday and Cal State Northridge on Sunday.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].