KENT, OH - Toledo dropped a 2-1 decision at Kent State in Mid-American Conference action on Sunday at Zoeller Field. With the loss, the Rockets fall to 7-10-1 overall, 5-4-1 in the league.
As a result of today’s contest, UT sits in sixth place in the conference standings with only one regular-season match remaining. The two-time reigning MAC regular-season champions will be on the road in the opening round of the league tourney, which starts next Sunday, Oct. 28.
"Today’s match was exciting, as they all seem to be when we play at Kent State," Toledo Head Coach Brad Evans said. "I’m proud of the effort we received from the entire roster and I thought we created some very good chances. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the back of the net which makes losing a bit more frustrating. The good news is the MAC Tournament starts next weekend, and I think we’re playing as well as we have all season. My hope is that we can carry that in to the two matches this weekend."
Toledo allowed a pair of second-half goals against the Golden Flashes (11-4-2, 6-3-1 MAC) to end a five-match win streak in the cross-division series.
The Midnight Blue & Gold had the wind at its back and dominated the action in the first half, posting a 9-4 edge in shots and a 5-1 cushion in corner kicks. Unfortunately for the Rockets, they were unable to take advantage of their opportunities and had to settle for a 0-0 deadlock at the intermission.
KSU dodged those bullets and the wind in the opening stanza and retaliated with the match’s first score by Stephanie Haugh at the 53:11 mark in the second half. Haugh scored on a header off a free kick by Hannah Newhouse from the right side of the pitch.
UT stayed aggressive in the attack despite the deficit and senior Natalia Gaitan tallied the equalizer in the 59th minute. The two-time All-Great Lakes Region honoree registered her fourth goal of the season on a penalty kick to knot the score at 1-1.
The tally remained the same until the 83rd minute when Kent State’s Madison Helterbran found the back of the net for the eventual match winner. Helterbran registered her second goal of the season on a header off a corner kick from Jaclyn Dutton to keep KSU in the hunt for a home match in the MAC Tournament.
Toledo finished the contest with a 13-8 edge in shots and a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Freshman Megan Connor led the attack with four shots, while senior Rachael Kravitz and Gaitan had three shots each.
Between the posts, sophomore Kelsey Borowitz totaled three saves in a losing effort.
"Today was a tough loss for us," senior Megan Blake said. "We started out with high energy and created some good scoring chances and fought hard defensively. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities. We have to move on from this loss and take what we learned today and improve upon it for our final regular-season match."
The Rockets will wrap up their regular season against Northern Illinois on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Scott Park. The opening whistle is slated for 3:00 p.m. at Scott Park.
Kent State 2, TOLEDO 1
KSU: Stephanie Haugh (Hannah Newhouse), 53:11
UT: Natalia Gaitan (Unassisted), 58:44
KSU: Madison Helterbran (Jaclyn Dutton), 82:48
SHOTS: UT 13, KSU 8
CORNER KICKS: UT 6, KSU 3
SAVES: UT 3, KSU 2
FOULS: UT 15, KSU 12