Soccer gets ‘comfortable,’ finishing with its third-straight tie as end of regular season nears

Jacob Shondel, Reporter

Less than 25 minutes into the soccer team’s final road game of the season, Kent State was already losing 2-0.

The Flashes scored twice in the last third of the game to tie Central Michigan 2-2.

“We have to handle ourselves better throughout the game,” coach Rob Marinaro said. “Being focused for the entire 90 minutes, and we saw how that can affect the game today.”

In the first 15 minutes of the game, KSU totaled three shots and had one corner opportunity.

“We were playing really well to start the game,” coach Rob Marinaro said. “CMU picked its game up and started taking it to us – next thing we know, we are behind two goals.”

The Flashes are now 4-6-7 overall and fall to fourth in the Mid-American Conference at 4-1-5.

The Chippewas sit at 2-10-4 and 1-5-3 MAC and remain in eleventh. Buffalo remains first at 6-0-4.

KSU finally had an offensive showing 21 minutes into the second half.

Freshman defender Abby Breitschuh passed the ball to redshirt senior defender Tianna Harris, and she fired the ball past the diving goalkeeper.

The score was now 2-1.

This was Breitschuh’s first career assist and Harris’ second goal of the season.

Seven minutes later, Kent State was awarded a free kick after a CMU foul.

Sophomore midfielder Alisa Arthur launched the ball to the Chippewa goalie, and it deflected off of her hands.

Harris found the rebound and the back of the net for her second goal of the game and third of the season. This tied the game at two and was the final scoring play of the game.

“Tianna has the level of commitment and sacrifices you want from a leader,” Marinaro said. “She affects all areas of the game for us.”

KSU had 18 shots, with seven on goal; CMU had five shots, with four on goal.

“We’re always trying to be aggressive and put up a lot of shots,” Marinaro said. “It got a little easier in the second half once we had the wind at our backs.”

The Flashes totaled 11 shots in the second half – the Chippewas had one.

Kent State’s final game of the regular season is 3 p.m. Thursday against conference leader Buffalo at Zoeller Field.

The Bull’s 31 goals this season are the second most in the MAC. Kent State is tied for ninth with 18.

“We have to commit to team defense to slow them down,” Marinaro said. “Our defense has been really good all season long.”

Buffalo has only allowed eight goals this season. Kent has allowed 25.

“We have to win the first and second balls,” Marinaro said. “The work rate has to be high so that we can put pressure on the defense.”

The MAC tournament begins Sunday. With a win or tie against the Bulls, the Flashes secure their spot. The top six teams make the tournament.

“We have to go out and compete from minute one,” Marinaro said. “We have to earn points, and being at home will help us.”

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