The Kent State women’s soccer team prepares for this weekend’s conference games. Stephanie Dever | Daily Kent Stater
Credit: DKS Editors
After a four game road trip, the Kent State soccer team returns home to face familiar opponents.
The Flashes (3-4) start play against Mid-American Conference teams on Friday against Ohio and Sunday against Akron.
“We’re really excited, I think it’s an opportunity to be at home and have all of our fans to come,” senior midfielder Kaitlin Messer said. “It’s really important to come out hard with a lot of intensity, which we did in the Eastern Kentucky game.”
Messer said the Flashes have formed rivalries with the other teams in the MAC.
“(Ohio) is a big (rival) and so is Akron,” Messer said. “We lost to OU last year in the last seconds of the game by one goal. We’re definitely coming out strong to take back our respect.”
The team lost 2-1 in overtime at Ohio but was able to win 3-1 at Akron last season. Kent State has is 3-10-1 all-time against Ohio and is 6-1 all-time against Akron.
Even though the Flashes were picked to finish in ninth place in the conference by the pre-season MAC coaches’ poll, Messer said the prediction gives the team an opportunity to surprise people.
With Kent State opening its MAC season, here’s a quick look at 11 teams on the Flashes’ schedule:
Ohio Preseason pick: 5, current record: 1-5-1
Junior forward Amy Lower currently leads the team with two goals, nine shots and two shots on goal. Freshman forward Laura Dieter is currently tied for second in assists with three.
In the saves category, the Bobcats are fourth in the MAC as junior goalkeepers Christa Puccio and Jess MacLean have combined for 35 saves.
The Flashes play the Bobcats today at 4 p.m. at Kent.
Akron Preseason pick: 11, current record: 5-2
Junior forward Britni Back is currently second in shot attempts in the MAC with 25 shots and is fourth in goals with four on the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Jenn Wolbert is currently leading the MAC with 47 saves.
The Flashes play the Zips Sunday at 1 p.m. at Kent.
Miami Preseason pick: 4, current record: 1-5-1
Sophomore forward Sara Lund is currently tied for second in the conference with five goals and has 20 shots on the season.
The Redhawks have committed the fewest fouls in the conference with 47.
Kent State is 5-5-1 all-time against Miami and will play at Oxford Oct. 3.
Ball State Preseason pick: 2, current record: 4-4
Senior forward Emily Rein is currently tied for second in assists in the conference with three assists. Senior goalkeeper Rachael Murphy is tied for fourth in saves in the conference with 31 saves and has recorded three shutouts.
Kent State is 3-5-2 all-time against Ball State and will face them at Muncie, Ind. Oct. 5.
Central Michigan Preseason pick: 8, current record: 5-2
Junior midfielder Stephanie Martin currently has a conference-high 33 shots and four goals including a conference-high three game winning goals.
Central Michigan is second in the conference in goals allowed with four.
Kent State has a 6-4-2 all-time record against Central Michigan and will play against them Oct. 10.
Eastern Michigan Preseason pick: 6, current record: 5-2-2
Freshman forward Chelsea Detrick is the leading scorer in the MAC with seven goals and has 17 shots on the season.
Eastern Michigan is tied for second in goals with 16 and is second in the conference in assists with 14.
Kent State is 5-7 all-time against Eastern Michigan and will play them Oct. 12.
Western MichiganPreseason pick: 12, current record: 1-6
Freshman forward Stephanie Skowneski is sixth in the conference in shots with 20 and sophomore goalkeeper Julia Francy is tied for fourth in the conference with 31 saves and has one shutout on the season.
The Flashes are 6-3-1 against Western Michigan all-time and will play them Oct. 17.
Northern Illinois Preseason pick: 6, current record: 4-1-3
Senior midfielder Thea Johnson and sophomore midfielder Becca Ford both enter conference play with three goals and a combined fifteen points.
Junior goalkeeper Lindsey Curnock leads the conference with five shutouts and has recorded 29 saves.
Kent State has a 4-7-1 all-time record against Northern Illinois Oct. 19.
Bowling Green Preseason pick: 3, current record: 5-2-2
Freshman midfielder Megan Amann leads the conference in assists with four.
The Falcons are leading the conference in goals, assists and shutouts.
Kent State has a 3-8-3 all-time record against Bowling Green and will play at Bowling Green Oct. 24.
Toledo Preseason pick: 1, current record: 5-2
Junior forwards Molly Cornwell and Ali Leak have combined for six goals. Toledo is second in the conference in scoring with 16 goals.
Kent State is 8-4-1 all-time against Toledo and will play there Oct. 26.
Buffalo Preseason pick: 10, current record: 4-1-2
Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Bailey is tied for second in scoring with five goals. Senior goalkeeper Amy Coron is second in the conference with four shutouts and has 34 saves.
The Flashes have a 4-5-1 all-time record against Buffalo and will play them Oct. 30.
Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected]