Soccer Shows Fight, but Outlasted by Central Michigan, 3-2
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State women's soccer team showed its mettle Sunday afternoon, as the Golden Flashes battled toe-to-toe with defending Mid-American Conference champs Central Michigan before falling 3-2 at Zoeller Field.
"We're disappointed in the loss, but what we need to take from today that we are capable of competing with anyone in the MAC," said head coach Rob Marinaro. "Unfortunately, we ran out of time."
Undaunted by Central Michigan's record, Kent State supplied plenty of challenges for the Chippewas. After Central Michigan scored the game's first goal in the 28th minute, Kent State answered right back in the 30th minute. Senior Kelly Heaton (Mississauga, Ontario) scored her third goal of the season when she beat CMU's Shay Mannino to a ball near the top of the box and Heaton's sliding effort found the back of the net.
Central Michigan (9-3-1, 6-0-0 MAC) rallied back, however, and in using end-to-end wind blowing in their favor, the Chippewas added two more goals in the half to take a 3-1 lead at the break.
Gaining the wind advantage in the second half, Kent State utilized the advantage. In the 61st minute, a long ball got Kent State deep in Central Michigan's defensive end, resulting in a foul. On the ensuing free kick, senior Annie Messer (Dayton, Ohio) sent the ball in from the left side, where it landed at the feet of sophomore Hannah Newhouse (Strongsville, Ohio). After a quick touch, Newhouse fired a shot that saw its way into the goal to cut Kent State's deficit.
The Golden Flashes just missed getting the equalizer in the 65th minute, when freshman Jessacca Gironda (Akron, Ohio) sped down the right side and turned the corner to cross the ball for senior Kellyn Flanagan (Medina, Ohio). Flanagan slid in hopes of tapping the ball past CMU's Mannino, but she was unable to connect on the chance.
The game changed in the 70th minute when Central Michigan's Bailey Brandon was issued a second yellow card for delay, which left the Chippewas down one player for the final 20 minutes.
Kent State continued to press and played a majority of that time in their attacking field, but could not get through a third time to knot the game.
KSU's two goals were the most goals allowed by Central Michigan against a MAC foe since the 2008 season, a span of 17 games.
Central Michigan finished with a 15-11 shots advantage, aided by their 12-6 margin in the first half. Kent State's Kelly Sherwood (Strongsville, Ohio) made five of the team's six saves, while CMU's Mannino made two stops.
Kent State returns to action at home Friday, Oct. 15 when the team hosts Toledo in a 4 p.m. contest.