Kent State Golden Flashes’ junior defender Megan Hill fights for a loose ball with a Northern Illinois defender yesterday afternoon. Dan Owen | Daily Kent Stater
Credit: DKS Editors
On a day when the senior members of the soccer team were honored, it was fitting that a senior player scored the only goal for Kent State.
The Flashes (5-9-1, 2-5-1 Mid-American Conference) ended their five-game losing streak with a tie against Northern Illinois (8-3-5, 4-2-2 MAC). Kent State’s only goal in the game was scored by senior midfielder Caitlin Hester at the 27:09 mark.
“We definitely picked (the intensity) up a lot,” Hester said. “Everyone really came out with really high intensity, and we fought for the whole game.”
Hester leads the team with four goals and six assists.
Northern Illinois tied the game at the 71:27 mark with a goal from senior midfielder Jenna Clausen. The Flashes endured defensively through two overtimes to maintain a tie.
“Honestly, anything’s better than a loss,” Hester said. “We’re really happy with how we played today. We saw a big difference in how we played than the last five games.”
Kent State attempted 19 shots and seven shots-on-goal. Junior midfielder Catharine Marosszeky led the team with six shots and two shots-on-goal.
Prior to the game, Hester was one of the five seniors honored during Senior Day.
&bull Welcome back: Friday’s game against Western Michigan was Nelson’s first game since Sept. 5. Nelson totaled six saves over the weekend.
&bull All-time records: With the tie yesterday, Kent State’s all-time record against Northern Illinois is 4-7-2. Friday’s loss to Western Michigan drops the Flashes’ all-time record to 6-4-1 against the Broncos.
“It was extremely special,” Hester said. “This team is probably the most special team from any other team since I’ve been here.”
Goalkeeper Kris Nelson, midfielders Kaitlin Messer, Brittany Dougherty and defender Cassie Seten were the other seniors honored yesterday.
Kent State coach Rob Marinaro complimented the seniors for their service to the team.
“The seniors are such a wonderful group of young ladies that are really trying to do whatever possible to make this program go in the right direction,” Marinaro said. “To have them be apart of our program has been awfully special for us.”
On Friday, the Flashes lost 2-1 to Western Michigan (4-9-1, 3-3-1 MAC). Kent State’s only goal was scored by sophomore forward Jessica Brickman at the 62:01 mark.
After being shut out in the first half, Western Michigan tied the game on a goal from sophomore midfielder Kelsey Carmichael at the 63:56 mark. The Broncos took the lead at the 67:53 mark with a goal from freshman defender Alison Szczypka.
“We didn’t have the killer instinct,” Marinaro said. “We scored a goal, and then all of a sudden we allowed them to get back into the game, and they just took over from there.”
The game was physical with 10 fouls and three yellow cards called on Western Michigan and five fouls on Kent State. There was a point where Flashes’ freshman midfielder Vanessa Salerno and Broncos sophomore midfielder Ali Jacobs had to be separated by officials.
“We didn’t get into anything that was un-sportsmanlike,” Marinaro said. “I thought we were trying to take care of ourselves physically but not step over that boundary.”
Kent State attempted 19 shots and six shots-on-goal in the game.
Marinaro said the team was not satisfied with the tie but looks to build on the result.
“We brought the energy and I think the last few games that’s where we’re lacking,” Marinaro said. “To end the weekend (with a tie) at least shows us what we’re capable of doing and to push forward and not be happy where we are now.”
Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected]