First place Flashes head southwest

Nick Walton

Kent State soccer tied for MAC lead as team heads to Miami, BSU

Sophomore forward Josee Charron prepares to pass the ball to a teammate Sunday at the game against Akron. Kent shut out the Zips 4-1. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

After a brief two-game homestand, the Kent State soccer team will go on the road this weekend to try to keep its high position in the Mid-American Conference standings.

The Flashes are currently tied for first in the conference after a 2-0 start to conference play, having defeated Ohio and Akron last weekend.

Kent State broke out offensively in those games with a total of eight goals. The Flashes will try to continue their offensive dominance this weekend at Miami and Ball State.

“Mentally we’re just trying to stay focused and come out with another win,” sophomore forward Kelly Heaton said. “We’re not trying to think ahead of ourselves, so each day we just take it step by step, and every time we practice we just go out hard and think what will make us better in the future.”


KENT STATE (5-4, 2-0 Mid-American Conference)

at MIAMI (1-7-1, 0-2)

and BALL STATE (5-5, 1-1 conference)

Where: Oxford and Muncie, IN

When: 4 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday

Heaton scored two goals and had two assists last weekend and was named the MAC Women’s Soccer Player of the Week. She is the first Kent State player to receive the award since 2004.

“It feels great, but I know that every member on this team has been supporting me and encouraging me, and I wouldn’t have done it without any of them,” Heaton said.

Heaton is tied for the team lead in goals with three and is tied for second in assists with two.

The Flashes are 2-4 on the road this season, but coach Rob Marinaro said the experience from non-conference road games will benefit Kent State on the road in conference.

“We were thrown many different looks from many different teams that played all different types of styles and formations,” Marinaro said. “Now we’re prepared, and we continue to look for improvement and wins.”

Miami (1-7-1, 0-2 MAC) comes into the game after road losses to Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan last weekend. Kent State defeated Miami last season 2-0 and has a 5-5-1 all-time record against them.

Ball State (5-5, 1-1) is a two-time defending MAC champion. The Cardinals lost at Central Michigan and won at Eastern Michigan to open conference play. Kent State lost to Ball State last season 2-1 and has a 3-5-2 all-time record against them.

“I think talent-wise, they’re two of the most talented teams,” Marinaro said. “We need to maintain our focus and our intensity because we’re coming up against two really good teams.”

Despite their being tied for first in the conference, Marinaro said the Flashes are not complacent about their position.

“I think (the players are) really focused,” Marinaro said. “I think they understand (last weekend) is in the past and we need to regroup and come out even with a better effort this weekend.”

Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].