Soccer finale could offer chance at home-field advantage in tournament

Chris Gates

Kent State senior Lisa Kurz kicks the ball at the Woman’s soccer game against Ball State, Sunday. The Flashes fell short, 2-1, to the Cardinals. REBECCA MOIDEL | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State soccer team hopes to earn a home game in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament with a win in the regular season finale at Buffalo on Thursday.

The Flashes best chance at winning will be if they score first. On the year, Kent State is 6-2-1 when garnering the first score. When opponents tally the first mark, chances are much smaller with a 1-7 record.

Due to their place in the MAC standings, Kent State can finish the season anywhere between third and eighth place. Currently the Flashes are seated in fifth place with a MAC record of 5-5-0, and an overall record of 7-9-1.

Buffalo comes in to the match hot, winning three of its last five games. Despite their record, 6-10-2 (3-6-1), the Bulls have come together as the season has progressed and will provide a tough contest to end the season for the Flashes.

In nine matches between the two schools, the series is tied 4-4-1. Kent State was victorious last season, but has not managed a win at Buffalo since 1999.

Two junior forward/midfielders lead the Bulls in scoring. Andrea Vescio who, with four goals and five assists, has 13 points. A point behind is Brooke McCalla with four goals and four assists.

The duo will try and pace the scoring of Kent State senior forward/midfielder Kimberly Dimitroff. Dimitroff has 13 points for the Flashes, coming by way of five goals and three assists.

Dimitroff’s senior season has been memorable already, breaking the Kent State all-time scoring record on Oct. 14 in a win over Toledo. It was the 30th of her career, passing Lauren Caminati’s school record of 29. With two more points, Dimitroff will pass Caminati’s school record for total points set at 75.

This season has been one to remember for junior goalkeeper Kris Nelson as well. Recording five shutouts this year, Nelson has a total of seven shutouts for her career. This places her third on the all-time list.

Kent State has no lack of confidence. The team believes, though it is in the middle of the pack in a conference, that it can go far in postseason play.

Though they do not know their opponent or seed in the MAC Tournament yet, the Flashes will enter the first round of competition Sunday Nov. 4.

Game time is set for 6 p.m. in Buffalo, N.Y. All 12 MAC teams are in play Thursday. Seedings and game sites will be determined after the completion of all games Thursday night.

Contact soccer reporter Chris Gates at [email protected]