Senior soccer players look for MAC trifecta

Kim Whitaker

Junior Heather Gilbert celebrates with sophomore Brittany Fracasso, senior Jen Frey and sophomore Kimberly Dimitroff after Frey’s game-tying goal on Aug. 26 against Ohio State. Kent State lost 2-1.

Credit: Jason Hall

While most seniors are trying to succeed in their final classes and find jobs this semester, the six seniors of the Kent State women’s soccer team have other goals for the fall.

The main goal on their minds is to win the Mid-American Conference, again. The Flashes have shared the prestigious title the past two years with Eastern Michigan, then Ohio.

Last season, the Flashes made a jump from fourth to first in the final weekend of the 2004 season.

Senior forward Amanda Messer said she would like to win the title again and make it a MAC trifecta.

“We want to build onto the team’s previous success from last year and go on to win the MAC,” Messer said.

Senior middle defender Wendy Gamble has goals similar to Messer.

“I would like to win the MAC and advance in the tournament,” Gamble said. “Over the years, I have developed as a person, as a teammate and as a player. I always try to do what’s best for the team. I never want to leave the field wishing I could do more.”

Defensive midfielder Caiti Grippa attributes her career’s success to the coaches.

“They have helped me with things like speed and positioning,” Grippa said.

This year’s seniors are the first group coach Rob Marinaro and assistant coach Anita Rodriguez recruited together.

“Watching them mature over the years is a nice process to see,” Marinaro said. “They start as quiet, timid freshmen and make the sacrifice to get to this point of their lives. The sacrifice is why we make them the captains.”

Midfielder Jen Frey has her own strategy for the season.

“I want to always work hard and use what I work for in practice to outplay the other team,” Frey said.

Frey said her motto for success is simple, “work hard and always play with your heart and never give up, no matter what the score is.”

Grippa and Messer also agree that the best strategy is to keep working hard, especially as a team.

“We’re not a big X’s and O’s team,” Marinaro said. “How hard we work is something we can always control on the field.”

The team will try to keep their minds focused on the game ahead as the Flashes head to Deland, Fla., to take on the Stetson Hatters tomorrow.

Senior forward Ashley Bohinc and senior defensive midfielder Raetta Hord were not available for comment.

Contact women’s soccer reporter Kim Whitaker at [email protected].