Flashes clinch playoff spot

Steven Voicik

Senior defender Britt Laing protects the ball from a Buffalo opponent yesterday during the team’s last regular-season game. The 3-0 win propelled the Golden Flashes into the Mid-American Conference Tournament. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

The Kent State soccer team clinched a berth in the Mid-American Conference Tournament yesterday with a 3-0 victory over Buffalo.

It was an offensive explosion for the Flashes, who struck 53 seconds into the game complements of junior forward Kimberly Dimitroff. This breaks the record for the earliest in the game Kent State has scored a goal.

Dimitroff placed the ball over the right shoulder of Buffalo goalkeeper Amy Coron for the early lead. The Flashes continued to dominate the first half of play, despite the game’s physical nature. The referees called 15 fouls during the first half of play, contributing to 33 overall. However, the physicality did not bother or shake the Flashes’ focus.

Dimitroff provided a spark for the team, applying pressure and frustrating Buffalo’s defense and goalkeeper. She also set up the team’s second goal of the match. The early offense benefited the Flashes indefinitely.

The Flashes made the score 2-0, with an impressive display of passing and finishing. Dimitroff put an ball through the defense to Kurz. Kurz then crossed the ball into the goal box, where Brittany Fracasso was able to score. The goal was Fracasso’s second of the year. Kent State statistically dominated the Bulls,

outshooting its opponents 19-9.

While the offense was superior, the defense came up just as big. Senior Britt Laing, who tied a club record by playing in her 80th career match, led the way.

Senior goalkeeper Alicia Fernandez came up with several diving saves that preserved the game for the Flashes. She ended the game with six saves.

“It was exciting to finish the regular season with a shut out. It gives us a lot of momentum headed into the playoffs,” Fernandez said.

Kurz tacked on a second-half goal to put the game away for the Flashes. With the ball at her feet, Kurz turned and blasted the a shot into the upper-left corner of the goal, past the leaping Coron. Kurz and Fernandez did not take all the credit for the win.

The Flashes will be playing in their fourth consecutive post-season tournament beginning Sunday at Central Michigan. The first seeds will host the first-round matches. The semifinals and championship will be played next weekend.

Contact soccer reporter Steve Voicik at [email protected].