A kick away from history

Deanna Stevens

Penalty kicks cost team MAC championship

Junior defender Britt Laing (3) and senior defender/midfielder Raetta Hord fight for possession against Bowling Green freshman forward Corbie Yee. The soccer team played against Bowling Green yesterday afternoon in the MAC Tournament final in Bowling Gree

Credit: Ben Breier

After being chosen in a preseason coaches poll to win the Mid-American Conference tournament title, the Kent State women’s soccer team came one shootout away from fulfilling that prediction.

The No. 7 seeded Flashes took on the defending MAC tournament champion Bowling Green Falcons in their first ever MAC tournament championship yesterday.

With its third straight overtime tournament game, the Flashes were unable to hang on in a 3-2 loss to the No. 1 seeded Falcons.

Even with the loss, Kent State coach Rob Marinaro was proud of his teams’ performance.

“I really believe our team did a really great job,” Marinaro said. “We didn’t lose a game this whole tournament. It took penalty kicks to knock us out.”

The loss is the first for the Flashes in the team’s last six games, going back to their loss at Toledo in mid-October.

The Flashes battled the Falcons through regulation and two overtimes, and neither team could get an edge.

“Our team showed a lot of heart,” Marinaro said. “And the coaching staff is really proud of them.”

In the team’s second shootout of the tournament, the Flashes finished the game in a manner which paralleled the rollercoaster of this entire season.

The penalty kicks began with a miss wide right by Kent State and Bowling Green taking their first lead of the game 1-0.

The Flashes came up again and with a save by the Falcons were unable to score again. However, Bowling Green did not extend its lead when they missed wide.

Senior Ashley Bohnic was the first Flash to get on the board as she tied the Falcons at one.

Not to be out done, the Falcons came right back and took the lead again.

Down 2-1, the Flashes missed their next kick, but the Falcons missed their opportunity as well.

Redshirt freshman Catharine Marosszeky kept the Flashes in the championship running with a goal to tie the score, 2-2.

But Bowling Green’s Julie Trudle ended it with a goal to the left side, winning the second consecutive MAC championship for the Falcons.

Before the Flashes could advance to their first-ever championship round, they had to face No. 6 seed Central Michigan in the semifinals on Friday.

The Flashes defeated Central Michigan 1-0 in overtime.

Marosszeky was awarded the game winning goal off a header with 2:52 in overtime. It was her sixth goal of the year. The goal came off a corner kick by sophomore Lisa Kurz.

The Flashes pulled off the win despite being outshot 16 to 7 overall and 12 to 1 in the first half. Eleven saves by junior Alicia Fernandez kept the Chippeweas scoreless for the match.

The game was the Flashes first MAC semifinal since 1998, and first ever semifinal win.

The weekend, however, was not just about tournament play.

Three individual Flashes were awarded with all-conference honors. Junior Heather Gilbert and sophomore Kimberly Dimitroff were named to the All-MAC second team.

Marosszeky was named to the All-MAC freshman team.

With the end of an emotional season, there are also six individual Flashes who the team personally honors. Those Flashes would be the team’s six seniors: Ashley Bohnic, Jen Frey, Wendy Gamble, Caiti Grippa, Raetta Hord and Amanda Messer.

“We had a wonderful group of seniors leading the way this season,” Marinaro said. “We love and will miss them.”

In a season full of ups and downs, Marinaro said he appreciates his team’s hard work and desire.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Marinaro said. “They showed a lot of heart and class. This is the furthest this team has ever went, and I’m really happy this group of young ladies got to experience it.”

Contact soccer reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].