SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Kent State soccer team (4-0-1) tied the program’s best start to a season Sunday afternoon with a convincing 4-1 victory over the host Roadrunners at the UTSA Classic. The Golden Flashes captured the team title with a 2-0-0 record on the weekend, outscoring its foes 7-1 along the way.
Junior Jaclyn Dutton (Bridgeport, Ohio) struck twice in the victory, while senior Sara Henderson (Strongsville, Ohio) added a goal and an assist. Junior Megan Jackson (Medina, Ohio) notched the game-winner for her first goal of the season.
“As a team, we performed very well today,” head coach Rob Marinaro said. “Our offense is playing extremely well, and defensively we were stellar. This was one of our best defensive performances of the year.”
Kent State was the first to score when a UTSA defender fouled Dutton in the penalty box, setting up a spot kick for the Golden Flashes and resulting in a red card for the Roadrunners in the 12th minute. Dutton converted for her second career penalty kick to give the Golden Flashes the early lead.
In the 36th minute, Jackson lit the lamp with her goal. Off a throw-in by senior Megan Repas (Avon, Ohio), Henderson flicked the ball to Jackson, who one-timed a shot past UTSA Katarina Pus.
Kent State finished the first stanza with the 2-0 lead, as UTSA mustered just two shots attempts in the first half, both blocked by the Kent State defense.
The Golden Flashes came out firing to start the second half, hitting the post in the 48th minute before another shot forced a save a minute later. But both teams picked up the pace offensively, as the two teams combined for 21 shot attempts in 45 minutes.
Kent State made the score 3-0 in the 61st minute when Henderson headed home a corner kick by Stephanie Haugh (Richmond Hill, Ontario).
But UTSA cracked the shutout in the 74th minute on a 30-yard free kick that found its way past Kent State goalkeeper Stephanie Senn (Grand Island, N.Y.). Senn finished with five saves to earn the win.
Kent State regained a three-goal lead in the 77th minute with Dutton’s second strike of the game. Repas notched her second assist of the contest with a cross from the right side to find Dutton, who headed it home.
For the game, Kent State outshot UTSA 14-12 and had a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Kent State’s 4-0-1 start matches the team’s unbeaten streaks that started the 2000 and 2004 seasons.
“We look to improve every time out; we’re looking to do our best every game,” Marinaro said. “We’re looking to build off that.”
The Golden Flashes return home for a three-game home stand, starting Friday, Sept. 7 against Youngstown State. Kickoff against the Penguins is slated for 4 p.m. at Zoeller Field.