Soccer loses at South Florida after travel change

Nick Walton

After a week of uncertainty and a change of flight plans, the Kent State soccer team finally played Friday. The Flashes, however, could not improve on their season record, as they lost to South Florida 1-0.

“South Florida was a very good team and extremely athletic,” Kent State coach Rob Marinaro said. “Offensively we were excellent, and we created a lot of opportunities. We could have come away with a win.”

The Flashes (2-2) were originally scheduled to play South Florida yesterday in Baton Rouge, La., but the game was moved to Friday in Tampa, Fla., because of the effects of Hurricane Gustav. A scheduled game Friday against LSU in Baton Rouge was also canceled.

Marinaro said South Florida tried to find the Flashes another opponent from the North Carolina region but were unable to get an opponent because of bad weather in the area. The Flashes used the extra day yesterday to train in Florida.

“We were hoping that we were going to play two good southern teams and see how it came out against both of them,” senior defender Cassie Seten said. “We’re just happy that we got to play a southern team at all, considering that we were supposed to play LSU but that got canceled.”

The Flashes had all four corner kicks against South Florida but were outshot 14-8. In a physical game, the Flashes committed six fouls to the Bulls’ three and were also called for three yellow cards to the Bulls’ two.

“It was a very physical game for both teams,” Marinaro said. “I think the athletic side brought (physical play) out – it was just two real athletic teams going at it.”

The only goal of the game was scored on a header by South Florida junior forward Amanda McCormick off a cross from freshman midfielder Rehana Murani at the 54:29 mark.

“I thought we defended quite well – they just beat us to a ball in the box and got a head on it,” Marinaro said. “I thought we played extremely well for 90 minutes and were just a little unlucky to not come out with the result.”

In the loss, senior goalkeeper Kris Nelson recorded six saves.

Marinaro complimented his players for how they handled the week’s uncertainty.

“I thought they did just a fantastic job,” Marinaro said. “They took things in stride, and they really stepped up to whatever the challenge was going to be – they stepped up to that challenge.”

Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].