Living the golden life

Deanna Stevens

Flashes kick to victory against Miami

Sophomore Lisa Kurz jumps to pass the ball to her teammate during a home game against Miami yesterday afternoon at Kent Soccer Field. Kent State won the game 4-1, which is the first MAC win.

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State soccer team’s play was as golden as their uniforms in the 4-1 win against Miami of Ohio yesterday. It was the first victory against the RedHawks since 1997.

The Flashes (4-5-1, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) came out for RedHawk blood early, scoring three goals in the first half. Two of those goals were by junior midfielder Dani Irwin. According to Irwin, the team wanted to come out hard, not only to prove something to Miami (3-4, 1-1 MAC) but also themselves.

“The fact that we have had a rough start to the season, we wanted to bring out that extra bit of fight that coach was looking for,” Irwin said.

The rough start includes the Flashes’ 2-0 loss to Ball State on Friday. While yesterday appeared to be one of those games where they could do no wrong, Friday was a game in which nothing seemed to go right.

Yesterday, Irwin’s first goal of the season was off a rebounded corner kick eight minutes into the first half. It was assisted by sophomore teammates Amy Kessler and Kimberly Dimitroff. Irwin’s second goal was a header three minutes later, which was assisted by senior Jen Frey.

The Flashes ended the first half by scoring a goal by senior Raetta Hord. Like Irwin’s first goal of the day, it was Hord’s first goal of the season.

In the second half, Miami’s physical play increased but so did the hustle on the part of the Flashes.

The overly-physical play did not phase Dimitroff as she scored her fourth goal of the season five minutes into the second half.

Dimitroff said she and the team did not let the pace of the game affect them.

“Really, it just pumped me up,” Dimitroff said. “They tried (to rattle us) but you just have to overcome that.”

According to Kent State coach Rob Marinaro, the solid work ethic the women displayed was an accumulation of the feelings of revenge toward Miami and the disappointment over the season’s inconsistencies.

“Hopefully they have learned from this example of hard work,” Marinaro said. “I hope that we can bottle this feeling and carry it to next week.”

Marinaro added that the Flashes wanted to win this game for junior Misty Kulcsar, who was re-activated with the armed forces on Friday to aid the Hurricane Katrina effort.

Statistically, the Flashes were pretty even with the RedHawks, with a 13-10 advantage with shots on goal, and a 13-12 advantage on fouls. The Flashes tied Miami with five saves apiece, but they lost the battle of corner kicks 5-3.

However, the game was one in which the stat sheet doesn’t do the game justice. The Flashes out-worked Miami from beginning to end.

“We did a fantastic job on team defense,” Marinaro said. “They were committed to playing as a team and had a great result.”

The Flashes will travel to Central Michigan on Friday to play the Chippewas.

Contact soccer reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].