Flashes suffer overtime loss to Vikings

Lance Lysowski

Late penalty costs Kent State the lead

Senior midfielder Beth Diederich collides with a Cleveland State player in Friday’s 2-1 overtime loss. Diederich scored the only goal for the Flashes. Kyle Roerink | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

A critical foul by the Kent State soccer team led to a 2-1 overtime loss against Cleveland State Friday.

The Flashes controlled the game for the first 71 minutes until Vikings freshman forward Jamie Avona was illegally tackled in the penalty box. Cleveland State freshman midfielder Valerie Stahl then tied the game 1-1 with the penalty kick.

“In this game, you are going to have changes of momentum,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said, “and I think what we didn’t do was keep up with our quality of soccer.”

The Flashes’ defense controlled the first half by matching the Vikings’ physical play. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood held down the defense with eight saves, including a breakaway stop.

“Kelly is solid; she’s always solid,” senior midfielder Beth Diederich said. “It’s amazing to have that much confidence in a keeper who can stop breakaways.”

Six minutes into the first half, Diedrich’s header goal off of a corner kick gave the Flashes the 1-0 advantage. The team’s defense continued their aggressive play against the Vikings to hold the lead, but Marinaro said he believed the team’s physical play had advantages and disadvantages.

“You watch (your opponent’s physicality), because otherwise they are going to control the tempo of the game,” Marinaro said. “I think we matched that very well, and I think that took away from some of the play we were trying to create and that’s where we need to have a lot more composure.”

After the penalty kick by Stahl, the game was back-and-forth, with corner kicks and close calls in front of both goals until the end of regulation.

In the overtime period, the Vikings only recorded one shot on goal, but it decided the game. Cleveland State sophomore midfielder Natalie Daniels’ sliding shot in the 100th minute gave the Vikings its first victory in program history over the Flashes.

Marinaro said he needed someone to stand out to accompany the team’s impressive play.

“We worked hard as a team, but we didn’t have any standout performers,” Marinaro said. “We need to see some players step up and be a little bit extra special.”

The Flashes (1-1) wrap up their three-game home stand against Pittsburgh on Sept. 4.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].