West Coast an unfriendly place for KSU soccer

Chris Gates

A west coast road swing brought only disappointment as the Kent State women’s soccer team dropped its opening two games of the regular season this weekend in California.

Consecutive 1-0 losses to the UC-Davis Aggies Friday and Pacific Tigers Sunday dropped the Flashes to an 0-2 mark in the season.

“Obviously, we’re very disappointed with the two losses,” head coach Rob Marinaro said.

In both games, the Flashes were outshot by a wide margin. However, coach Marinaro says defense is not an issue at this point.

“Shot totals can be misleading,” he said. “Both games were back and forth and really could have gone either way.”

“We played well enough and had our opportunities to win both games,” he added.

The Aggies’ Rochelle VanBuskirk netted the lone goal in the 57th minute of play Friday in 97-degree heat at Aggie Soccer Stadium. The goal slipped through Kent State goaltender Kris Nelson’s hands from about 15-feet out on the left side.

The shot was one of 17 – more than tripling Kent State’s total of five for the game. Kent State held an edge on corner kicks 5-4.

The win was the first ever in Division I for UC-Davis. Senior Amy Kessler led the Flashes with 2 shots.

Sunday’s game against the Pacific, in ways, mirrored Friday’s match.

A goal in the same time frame, the 52nd minute, and a large shot advantage, 19-6, helped the Tigers to victory.

The Tiger’s Sammi Teremae found the back of the net with a rebound goal off of a Mandi Van Dorn shot. Van Dorn’s shot skipped off Kris Nelson’s hands and off the crossbar. Van Dorn got a second attempt, which again hit the crossbar and fell to Teremae’s feet, who punched it in for the goal.

The goal lifted the Tigers to victory and a 2-0 record for the season. Van Dorn’s assist gave her 5 points on the year.

Goaltender Nelson had a solid weekend, facing much action in both games.

“Kris had a very solid weekend and played very well,” Marinaro said. “But also, our defense itself played very well.”

Marinaro plans to keep the same approach with his team leading up to the home opener Friday.

“We’ll just keep on teaching a lot of the same things,” he said. “We’ll make sure everyone understands their roles in certain situations and continue to focus and learn.

“It’s early in the season. We’ve found the things that we’re looking for and the things we need to work on.”

The Flashes return home at 4 p.m. Friday to face off against the Raiders of Wright State.

Contact soccer reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].