Soccer tries to continue early season success this weekend

Nick Walton

The Kent State soccer team looks to build on its season-opening win over Youngstown State when it faces two opponents this weekend.

Today the Flashes will play at Wright State (1-1), and they will return home Sunday for their home opener against Southern-Illinois Edwardsville (1-0) .

Kent State coach Rob Marinaro is confident his team is up to the challenge of playing two games in three days.

“It’s something that they’re going to have to get used to – that’s what pretty much the remainder of the season has for us,” Marinaro said. “It’s a process, and we’re moving forward to the next two challenges.”

Marinaro believes the team has had the right balance of rest and practice to help prepare for this weekend. The Flashes are also not falling into the trap of looking ahead, even though Sunday’s game will be the final home opener for the seniors.

“Right now, we’re just taking it one game at a time,” senior defender Cassie Seten said. “First we play our butts off at Wright State and work really hard, and then when Saturday practice comes around we just try to get together, be positive and prepare for the Sunday game.”

Wright State was picked to finish third in the Horizon League preseason poll and is currently at .500 after a loss at Evansville and a win at Cincinnati.

The Flashes have an 0-4 record all-time against Wright State, including a 4-0 loss last season.

“Historically they’ve really taken it to us,” Marinaro said. “(The players) have kept that in the back of their mind, and now it’s in the forefront and they’re ready to change that.”

Despite the series’ history, the Flashes are not concerned with their previous games against Wright State.

“We don’t even think about (the past),” Seten said. “You don’t even think about (the past); you just look at what’s at hand and do the best that you can.”

While the Flashes have a history against Wright State, this is the first meeting against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, who they host at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kent State Soccer Field.

The Cougars opened up their season with a win at Indiana State and will face Mid-American Conference opponent Akron on Friday before facing the Flashes.

Although Marinaro said it’s difficult to prepare for the Cougars because the two teams have never played, he is more focused on his team’s play.

“Since it’s so early in the season, right now we’re concentrating a lot more on what we’re capable of doing,” Marinaro said. “We’re still learning a lot about the group that we have. We’ve seen a lot of positives from them, and we’re cleaning up a lot of the things we need to do better.”

Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].