Record goal not enough versus Pitt

Chris Gates

Kent State midfielder Jackie Barath takes command of the ball from Pittsburgh forward Ashley Habbel. The Flashes were defeated by the Panthers in a 2-1 loss at home yesterday. Abigail S. Fisher | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

A goal with eight seconds left in regulation sent the Pittsburgh Panthers to victory, and the Kent State Golden Flashes to a 1-3 record yesterday.

The goal came as one of two for the Panthers in the final 10 minutes of play, erasing early momentum built up by the Flashes.

“We’re continuing to do the same things we’re doing,” head coach Rob Marinaro said. “We just need that little extra effort to finish things in the final third.”

The game started as promising as one could imagine. Senior forward Kimberly Dimitroff took a pass from sophomore midfielder Jackie Barath and headed it into the goal only 24 seconds in to the game — the quickest goal in school history.

Play went back and forth for much of the first half, going into halftime with a 1-0 advantage for Kent State.

With 7:36 left in the game, Jennifer Kritch scored for Pitt to tie up the game. Her shot from 20 yards out deflected off the right goalpost, rolled across the goalmouth, and snuck inside the left goalpost for the score.

Then Pitt’s Jenna Greenfield, with only eight seconds remaining, netted the game-winner from 12 yards out on the right side.

The outcome, although it was a loss, is a learning experience for the team who is preparing themselves for Mid-American Conference play starting on Sept. 30.

“It’s good for us,” Marinaro said. I think we’re learning where we are at, at this stage of the season. I think we worked extremely hard.”

The Flashes have life since dropping their home opener to Wright State 4-0 on Sept. 7, registering their first win on Friday at St. Bonaventure.

The Bonnies scored an early goal in the first minute of play when Leah Oleski beat the Kent State defense. It would prove to be the Bonnies only goal of the game, as Kent State roared back with two unanswered goals to win.

Senior Lisa Kurz’s corner kick at the 29:26 mark bent around and off a St. Bonaventure defender to tie the game. The goal was the first of the year for the Flashes.

Junior Caitlin Hester netted the game winner in the 59th minute of play. The goal came off of Lauren Evans’ pass from 10 yards in the center of the goalie box.

“They went up real early and from there we cleaned some things up,” Marinaro said. “We started working a lot harder and we turned the game around and really took it to them.”

Kent State learned a lot about itself over the past weekend, and continues to develop more and more as each game is played.

“We’ve moved in the right direction the last two games,” Marinaro said. “We’re close, we just need to finish games. We’re seeing it, we’re creating more, and now we’re putting the ball in the back of the net. We just need to finish the game.”

The Flashes will look to start and finish on Wednesday, as they host Youngstown State, which will be another learning experience in their still new 2007 season.

“We’re not so concerned about opponents as we are about progressing,” Marinaro said. “Youngstown State is going to give us a good hard fight and that’s what we need to prepare for and just keep moving forward.”

The Penguins are coming off their first win of the season with a 5-1 win over Howard. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. at Kent State Soccer Field.

Contact soccer reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].