Soccer looks to keep season alive on road

Nick Walton

Kent State at critical juncture heading into weekend games at Bowling Green, Toledo

Bowling Green did it in 2005. Toledo did it last season.

What did they do?

Both teams ended the Kent State soccer team’s Mid-American Conference championship dreams.

In the 2005 MAC Tournament championship, Bowling Green defeated the Flashes on penalty kicks. Last season, Toledo defeated Kent State in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals on its way to winning the tournament.

This season, the Flashes (5-9-1, 2-5-1 MAC) will have to defeat their conference opponents this weekend to make their sixth straight appearance in the MAC tournament and extend their season.

“It’s probably the biggest weekend — besides a MAC Tournament weekend – that I’ve had since I’ve been here,” senior midfielder Caitlin Hester said. “We’re to the point now where it’s win or go home.”

Coming off a tie against Northern Illinois on Sunday, the Flashes are looking for their first win since Sept. 28. Kent State is currently in 10th place in the conference with three games left in the regular season.

The Games


(5-9-1, 2-5-1 conference)

BOWLING GREEN (9-5-3, 4-3-1)

and TOLEDO (11-4, 6-2)

Where: Bowling Green and Toledo

When: 3 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday

Junior midfielder Catharine Marosszeky said the team is treating each game like it’s the MAC championship and is looking to come out with a lot of intensity at Bowling Green. The Flashes play the Falcons at 3 p.m. today.

“It’s probably the most important thing to come out with the most intensity so you can control the game,” Marosszeky said. “We’re not worried about if they’re leading in any categories. We’re just worried about that one game.”

The Falcons (9-5-3, 4-3-1 MAC) are currently tied for fourth place in the conference and lead the conference in goals, assists and shutouts.

Kent State hasn’t defeated Bowling Green since 2004, the year before Hester’s freshman season.

Sunday, the Flashes will play at Toledo (11-4, 6-2 MAC), which is currently second in the conference and coming off a win against conference leader Central Michigan.

Kent State defeated Toledo last season in the regular season before the Rockets returned the favor in the tournament.

Despite the results from last season, Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said the team isn’t looking at last year for motivation.

“We just like to go into each game and look to be as prepared as we possibly can and look for the high intensity for 90 minutes,” Marinaro said.

With the Flashes’ tournament chances fading, Hester said they need to play every game like it’s their last.

“It’s do or die at this point,” Hester said. “We need to make sure we come out with the highest level of intensity we possibly can and take it to both teams.”

Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].