Soccer aims to build on Wednesday’s win

Chris Gates

Kent State’s 2-0 win over Youngstown State Wednesday could not have come at a better time as they set out on a series of five straight road games starting on Saturday.

The Flashes will face off against Maryland, 4-1-1, hoping to start the road trip on the right foot — a winning one.

“We look at it one game at a time,” head coach Rob Marinaro said. “Being an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) school it’s going to be a great challenge.”

Heading into Saturday’s game, Kent State looks to build upon a dominating win over YSU Wednesday. In that match, Kent State dominated offensively, leading to 16 shots on goal to just two by Youngstown State.

“It came at a good time,” Marinaro said. “(The team) really worked hard and they put it together. It was a nice victory.”

The offensive outpouring was what the Flashes have been missing so far in the season. Three of the four Kent State losses have come as shutouts.

Being able to capitalize and then finish is a big part of the equation, Marinaro explained.

“You create opportunities, which is the first part, and to finish them off is the crucial part of the game,” Marinaro said. “We’re starting to pick that up and we’re starting to get a lot more hungry in the final third. It’s starting to come together.”

Kent State will have quite a task defensively as they will have to deal with Maryland midfielder Nataly Arias. Arias has three goals on the season, two of which came in game-winning fashion last week.

Defense has shown signs of improvement lately, allowing only two shots on goal to Youngstown State. The Golden Flashes look to be piecing together all the ends of their game plan before the Mid-American Conference play begins.

“I think we’re close,” Marinaro said. “You’re seeing the progress that we’re making. We’re definitely playing a lot better than we did at the beginning and that’s good to see.”

The Flashes will face Maryland, Ohio, Akron, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan before returning home on Oct. 12 to face Bowling Green. Game time for Saturday’s game at Maryland is set for 7 p.m.

Contact soccer reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].