Senior Yasmine Hall scored the only goal of the game as the Kent State soccer team won its season opener 1-0 against the University at Buffalo on Thursday at Dix Stadium.
Twenty-nine minutes into the game, Hall got the ball about 18 yards away from the Buffalo goal on the right side of the field. Surrounded by two defenders, she moved the ball quickly to the left and struck it to the back of the net.
“It was a very quick decision and was difficult because I had two players on me,” Hall said. “I've been practicing my shooting a lot. So in a way, it was second nature. Practice paid off.”
Coach Rob Marinaro said that the goal was well-earned.
“Hall took a great opportunity and struck a wonderful shot and scored an amazing goal,” Marinaro said. “It's really pleasing to see her find some success after everything that she's gone through.”
Hall had missed the 2019 season and most of the 2018 season because of an injury.
Marinaro said the team’s defense played a major role in the win.
“The defense really did a good job with their communication,” Marinaro said. “They were organized and compact, and it made it very difficult for Buffalo. They were putting a lot of pressure on the ball and covering each other to make sure that no ball got behind them.”
The Flashes recorded six shots on goal, five corner kicks, one yellow card, 11 fouls and five offside penalties while Buffalo had four shots on goal, eight corners, 16 fouls, two yellow cards and two offsides.
Marinaro said he was happy with his team’s effort.
“It was a great team performance,” he said, “and playing as a team has always been our strength.”
Mid-American Conference coaches had picked Buffalo to finish second in the league in their preseason poll.
Kent State was picked third.
The Flashes play at home again on Sunday when they host Akron at 1 p.m.
Ignatius is a sportswriter. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.