0-0 tie with Ohio drops KSU soccer team to third in MAC going into league tournament

Senior defender Tianna Harris kicks the ball during the Kent State soccer team’s 0-0 tie against Ohio University on Thursday Oct. 28. in Athens, Ohio. 

Cole Oswald Reporter

Kent State and Ohio’s soccer teams went into their game Thursday tied for first place in the Mid-American Conference. 

By the end of the day, neither team was in first. 

Kent State fought through two overtime periods and ended in a 0-0 tie with Ohio University. Both got a point in the MAC standings to end with 24.

Bowling Green (8-2-1) defeated Toledo (5-4-2) in overtime. That gave the Falcons three points, 25 for the season — and the MAC regular-season championship. It also earned BG the top seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming MAC Tournament. BG will play Thursday against the winner of Sunday’s game between Central Michigan and Buffalo. 

KSU and Ohio both finished 7-1-3 in the conference. But Ohio scored 10 more goals than its opponents in the MAC and KSU finished with 19 goals and allowed 10. The one-goal difference meant OU won the tie-breaker and gets the second seed and first-round bye in the tournament. KSU earned the third seed and will host Toledo at 1 p.m. Sunday at Dix Stadium. The winner will face Ohio on Thursday. 

The semifinals and finals of the tournament will be at Bowling Green due to its regular-season championship.

“I’m really proud of this team,” coach Rob Marinaro said. “They were really down today because they wanted to achieve the regular-season championship. Their competitiveness and their spirit was championship-caliber today and unfortunately, we didn’t capture that.”

“This is a team that should be extremely proud of themselves and how they compete and how they represent the university. It’s a team that I’m very proud of, and they should hold their head up high and go and battle on Sunday.”

“We’ll just continue to build on what we showed today. If we come out with the spirit, battle and commitment that we showed today then we’ll look to compete against anybody.” 

The Flashes fought off 24 shots, eight on goal, by Ohio and got eight saves from goalie Sarah Melén. 

“Defensively, we were fantastic,” Marinaro said. “I think we neutralized their speed out wide. Anytime that we got beat, we had cover. A lot of balls were won in the 18-yard box by our defense and midfield today. It was just an outstanding defensive performance.” 

The Flashes took 17 shots, three on goal. Ohio had three saves.

“Offensively, we’re pretty athletic up top,” Marinaro said. “We’re trying to find some seams to play through and get them wide. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the day to go in, but we have the playoffs to look forward to.”  

Cole Oswald is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]