The Kent State soccer team’s defense is looking strong after its first weekend of Mid-American Conference play, coach Rob Marinaro said, but the offense still needs work.
The Flashes beat Akron (2-8, 0-2 MAC) on Thursday 1-0 and tied Buffalo (6-2-1, 0-1-1) on Sunday 0-0. KSU is in fourth place in the conference standings.
“I think it’s a wonderful start,” Marinaro said. “We’re working really hard to find some quality soccer. Right now, we’re defending really well and getting a lot of work out of our offensive players. We just need to get that final product from the offensive third, but those are some things we’ll continue to work on."
“I think for us, it’s just to continue working on the things that we’re doing. Can we do them a little bit quicker and a little bit faster? We’ll work on continuing to create better scoring opportunities.”
Senior forward Khyla Porter scored in the 24th minute against Akron with an assist from freshman midfielder Siena Stambolich. The Flashes’ defense allowed eight shots, only two on goal.
“From a school standpoint, it’s always wonderful beating the school down the road and all those kinds of things,” Marinaro said. “For us, it was looking to get better in every game. I think against Akron, we did really well defensively. We closed them down and limited their opportunities. We’ll continue to work to get that offense going a little bit more.”
The Flashes went into two overtimes against Buffalo. Buffalo took 27 shots, 14 of them on goal, but KSU did not allow a point.
“We had great team defense from the front all the way to the back end and good solid goalkeeping,” Marinaro said. “So we’re doing a really nice job of staying organized tactically and putting their offense in less dangerous opportunities."
“We’ve been really well organized, communicating really well to each other and making sure there’s always pressure on the ball.”
Against Buffalo, the Flashes took 19 shots with 11 of them on goal.
“We were looking to generate space and then as those pockets open up, get into those gaps,” Marinaro said. “We needed some of that service today and unfortunately we didn’t get the final product. But you have to give the team so much credit for their effort and work on their first MAC weekend.”
KSU (5-3-1, 1-0-1) will play at Toledo (7-1-2, 2-0) on Thursday. Toledo is tied for first place in the MAC with Ohio and Miami.
Cole Oswald is a reporter. Contact him at email@example.com.