VALPARAISO, Ind. – The Kent State women’s soccer team (2-0-1) remained unbeaten on the year after a 1-1 draw with Valparaiso at Brown Field.
Sophomore Stephanie Haugh (Richmond Hill, Ontario) notched her second goal in as many games, shaking the nets in the 64th minute to give Kent State the first lead of the game.
But Valparaiso (2-0-1) equalized in the 85th minute, forcing the contest into extra time. There, neither team could score a would-be sudden victory goal as the 110-minute contest ended in a draw.
“It was a hard fought game,” said Kent State head coach Rob Marinaro. “Give Valpo credit; they are a very good team, and we matched them well. I thought we did enough to win, but I told the team I was very proud of their effort.”
Kent State registered a 14-11 shots advantage in the game, including a slight 5-4 lead in shots on goal. The Golden Flashes managed five corner kicks while conceding just two to the Crusaders.
Neither team could break free in the first half, but Kent State out-shot the host squad 6-3 in the opening stanza. Kent State had a pair of free kicks at close range in the first half, but neither set piece resulted in a goal. The Golden Flashes also had a chance on a corner kick late in the first half, but a Valpo defender cleared the ball off the line.
Scoreless in the 64th minute, Kent State broke through for the game’s first goal on a team effort. Katherine Lawrence (Ajax, Ontario) found teammate Jaclyn Dutton (Bridgeport, Ohio), who flicked the ball onto Jessacca Gironda (Akron, Ohio). From there, Gironda paired with Haugh, who fired a 20-yard shot out of reach of Valparaiso goalkeeper Kristen Manski. Dutton and Gironda were credited with assists on the play.
“Steph did a great job getting behind defense, and it was a very good finish,” said Marinaro.
However, Valparaiso equalized in the 85th minute on a strike by Sarrah Ludwig from 25 yards out. Valpo nearly took the contest in the game’s final ticks, but Kent State goalkeeper Stephanie Senn (Grand Island, N.Y.) made a critical save in the final minute of regulation for one of her three saves.
In extra time, Kent State appeared to have scored the game-winner in the 94th minute when Dutton’s direct free kick was denied by the crossbar by the slightest of margins. The deflection found the head of Megan Repas (Avon, Ohio), but the Kent State senior was whistled for an offsides infraction.
“Jaclyn hit fantastic free kick, and from our angle, it looked like the original shot went in,” Marinaro said of the play.
Kent State’s defense was again up to the task, holding its foe to just four shots on goal in 110 minutes of action.
“Defensively, we did a very good job,” Marinaro said. “Valparaiso had a good midfield, but our defense helped hold them to few opportunities.”
Kent State returns to action next weekend for a two-game series at the UTSA Tournament, hosted by the University of Texas-San Antonio Aug. 31 and Sept. 2.