Turnovers prove costly as lacrosse team drops third game in a row in loss to YSU

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KSU Athletics

Junior attacker Morgan Kubicki makes a move against YSU.

Jacob Shondel , Reporter

Kent State women’s lacrosse team has averaged 19 turnovers in games they have lost.

On Saturday, KSU fell to third-place Youngstown State 18-11 and gave the ball away 23 times.

It was the third-most turnovers in a game for the Flashes this season. They are now 1-3 all-time against the Penguins.

The third consecutive loss drops Kent State to 5-11 overall and 2-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Penguins improve to 9-7 and 7-2 in the league.

On March 17, the Penguins defeated KSU 21-20, scoring the game-winning goal with five seconds left.

“We did a better job controlling the draw today,” coach Brianne Tierney said. “We just couldn’t find the back of the net early on as we did previously.”

In the first matchup, Kent State scored seven goals in the first quarter and lost the draw 23-21.

On Saturday, KSU lost the draw 17-16.

Tierney said that Youngstown’s athleticism was challenging.

“They [YSU] are a fast team,” she said. “We were just never able to gain a step on them, and we didn’t do a great job of helping each other off the ball.”

After playing a tight first quarter, the Flashes trailed 3-2.

During the second quarter, the Penguins tightened their defense, holding the Flashes scoreless for 16 minutes while scoring seven goals and taking a 10-3 lead into halftime.

Kent State committed 12 turnovers during the first half.

“They’re a physical defense,” Tierney said. “We prepared for that all week, and we kind of folded under their pressure a little bit more than I expected.”

The Flashes were able to gain momentum at the end of the third quarter, scoring two goals in the final three minutes.

Tierney was pleased to see the team continue to fight despite the deficit.

“We struggled with momentum until the end of the game,” she said. “Building confidence heading into next week was important.”

With Detroit Mercy defeating Akron Saturday, the season’s final game between the Flashes and Titans will be for the final spot in the MAC tournament.

“I do not doubt that the team will be confident going into this final game,” Tierney said. “We need to win the draw and gain control of the game early. We have the most success when that happens.”

When leading at halftime, KSU is 5-1.

Junior attacker Morgan Kubicki led the Flashes with three goals, which tied a career-high. Senior midfielder Abby Jones added two scores.

Kent State had 27 shots, with 21 on goal; Youngstown had 44 shots, with 33 on goal.

The Flashes will travel to Birmingham, Michigan Saturday for their final game when they take on Detroit Mercy to try and appear in its first-ever MAC tournament. KSU beat the Titans 16-11 on March 19.

Jacob Shondel is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].