Dimitroff closes in on KSU records

Chris Gates

Though she is only a few kicks away from the Kent State goals and scoring records, senior forward Kimberly Dimitroff is focused on one thing: a championship ring.

With 27 career goals, and 66 career points, Dimitroff may soon be the leading scorer in Kent State soccer history. More than having her name on the top of both lists, she longs for a larger team achievement.

“It would be nice, but it’s not a main concern of mine,” Dimitroff said. “If the team wins, I don’t care about anything else.”

So far, the Flashes are 2-4-1 and begin Mid-American Conference play today, where Dimitroff and the Flashes will take their first step toward the coveted championship prize.

“I just really want a ring this year,” Dimitroff said. “We really want to win the league, that’s our goal. And go to NCAA’s.”

While chasing her dream of a championship, Dimitroff will be chasing Lauren Caminati, a former Golden Flash and current record holder. Her career marks of 29 goals and 75 points have held since her departure in 2003.

Dimitroff leads the team in scoring this year with two goals and one assist, but she recognizes it is a total team effort that contributes to any single player’s success.

“We have the hardest working team that we’ve had in the four years I’ve been here,” Dimitroff said.

The 2007 campaign has had some ups and downs to date, but all have been learning experiences. The most recent came Saturday when the Flashes tied Maryland of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It was huge,” Dimitroff said. “It was unreal. We all felt like we were playing in the Final Four. We were all pumped up and singing before the game. We just had fun.

“I think that’s the reason we did so well,” she said. “Every single person played their heart out. We just wanted to have fun.”

But being from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Dimitroff almost never had the chance to play in such games. Soccer was not very popular in her hometown. Scholarships were rarely given, and if so were for sums far smaller than seen in the United States. Hockey is the main focus, and many kids who were serious about playing soccer went to the United States.

“You can’t get a scholarship money-wise at all,” Dimitroff said. “I barely even played in high school.”

Lucky for the Flashes, Dimitroff stuck with the sport and traveled south after high school. Now she plans to finish her senior year in the top of the record books, as well as the MAC standings.

“Our goal every year is to win the MAC and be the most consistent team,” Dimitroff said. “From there, go in to the tournament as the first seed and play consistent in the tournament.”

MAC play is a battle every week, as all teams are on virtually the same level talent-wise.

“Every MAC team is the same,” Dimitroff explained. “We’re all the same caliber, the same potential-wise. It’s just whoever wants it the most on the specific day.”

Parity, as head coach Rob Marinaro explained at the beginning of the season, is strong in the MAC and makes each game as challenging as the last.

Today, the Flashes will face Ohio, 0-5-2, in hopes of starting 1-0 in the conference.

“We have played really good teams,” Dimitroff said. “I’d prefer to be undefeated, but it is a learning experience. These are the games to lose. Once Friday starts, the season starts, and there’s no losing from there.

“It’s just whoever fights harder,” Dimitroff said. “We’re gonna fight.”

The Flashes and Bobcats will face off at 4 p.m. in Athens. Kent State will then face rival Akron, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan before returning home against Bowling Green on Oct. 12.

Contact soccer reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].