The Kent State Golden Flashes split two home games against Bowling Green and Toledo this weekend.
On Friday, Bowling Green beat the Flashes 3-0 in one of the most heated home game of the season. Then, Toledo and its traveling fan base suffered its first MAC loss of the season yesterday in dramatic fashion by a score of 1-0.
Yesterday’s victory was the result of capitalizing off of a solid defensive game plan, something the Flashes failed to do two days before.
“We wanted it more today,” senior forward/midfielder Kimberly Dimitroff said. “We wanted to work hard and play as a team and I think we succeeded.”
Dimitroff scored the only goal of the game, and in doing so became Kent State University’s all-time leading goal scorer. Brittany Fracasso sent a perfect lead pass down the left side, which Dimitroff took and shot across the box past the reach of Toledo goalkeeper Andrea Plewes.
“It feels good,” Dimitroff said. “All around from the back to the front we played as a team. All the effort comes from them, I just tip it in.”
Kent State coach Rob Marinaro noted that the entire team is responsible for any single player’s success, but that Dimitroff’s natural ability to score is a major contributor to her monumental achievement.
“I’m happy for her,” Marinaro said. “It’s a good team statistic. I think (Fracasso) played her a fantastic ball. Kim’s a fantastic finisher.”
The entire game was closely contested. Both teams struggled to create opportunities in the first half, which set the tone for an evenly played match.
Not until the second half did either team gain momentum. Kent State started the half with several offensive chances, all of which were turned away by the Rockets.
Dimitroff was finally able to break through Toledo’s defense and score at the 76:55 mark of play.
Friday was an entirely different story as Bowling Green had prime offensive chances from the very start of the game. Five minutes into the game, the Falcons nearly took the early lead when a corner kick was taken and fired off the crossbar.
Kent State held off the attack until the second half when Stacey Lucas netted a goal in the 66th minute of play. This coming after Kent State junior goalkeeper Kris Nelson made a terrific diving leg save.
The Flashes best scoring opportunity came off of a penalty kick awarded after an intentional trip by the Falcons in the first half. Catharine Marosszeky took the shot, which deflected off the crossbar and out.
Bowling Green tallied two more goals late to seal the victory.
With Bowling Green near the bottom of the MAC standings, and Toledo at the top, Kent State proved that effort alone is the key factor to achieving victory.
“They were undefeated before they played us, so it feels good,” Dimitroff said. “We have to keep winning. We have five games left and we just have to take it one game at a time.”
The Flashes now have an overall record of 6-6-1, with a 4-2-0 mark in the MAC. Time will tell where the Flashes finish in the standings, but Sunday proved that the top is an attainable goal.
“We showed today that when we put everything together we can be successful,” Marinaro said. “Today we came together and did a fantastic job.
Up next for Kent State are two road games against Central Michigan on Friday and Eastern Michigan on Sunday.
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