Kent State’s junior forward scores game-winning goal with one second left in regulation to secure the MAC-East regular season title
KENT, Ohio – Kent State junior forward Megan Repas (Avon, Ohio) saved her best for last – very last – as her shot with just one second left on the clock gave the Golden Flashes a 1-0 home victory over Ohio Sunday afternoon at Zoeller Field.
With the win, Kent State improved to 12-6-0 on the year and 6-4-0 in the Mid-American Conference. Now four points ahead of Ohio in the standings with one game to play, Kent State claimed the MAC-East regular season title, their first since the 2004 season.
Repas, who had two shots off the mark earlier in the game, converted from close range in a frenzy of activity. Granted a corner kick – the ninth of the game for the Golden Flashes – with less than 20 seconds left in regulation, Kent State pressed everyone forward for a final chance.
Freshman Stephanie Haugh (Richmond Hill, Ontario) sent in the kick from the right side, where sophomore defender Katherine Lawrence (Ajax, Ontario) was at the back post and sent a quick pass to junior midfielder Sara Henderson (Strongsville, Ohio). Henderson then continued the ball back to the right side, where Repas spun and one-timed a close-range shot as the referee’s final whistle blew.
“I thought it was well deserved,” said head coach Rob Marinaro of his team’s win. “We worked really hard today, and you know what? We came out on top. “
Kent State had a significant 14-2 shots advantage in the first half, but the team was unable to crack Ohio’s defense.
In the second half, senior Vanessa Salerno (Etobicoke, Ontario) looked as if she had broken through with a header off a corner kick on the right side, only to be denied by a stingy crossbar.
“We didn’t get discouraged,” said Marinaro. “We kept on fighting, and even with the countdown on the clock, they put one away.”
Senior goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood (Strongsville, Ohio) need to make just one save on the day as the Kent State defense held Ohio to just one shot on goal. For the game, Kent State out-shot Ohio 21-11, with a 10-1 margin in shots on goal.
Prior to the game, Kent State recognized their five-player senior class. Sherwood and classmates Jenni Stapleton (New Albany, Ohio), Hannah Johnson (Medina, Ohio), Gabi Ingram (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Salerno were honored by Kent State fans and teammates for their hard work and dedication over the past three-plus seasons in the blue and gold.
Kent State will wrap up regular season action Thursday, Oct. 27 at Buffalo for a 3 p.m. contest. Guaranteed a top-four finish in the MAC standings, the Golden Flashes will host a quarterfinal game of the 2011 MAC Women’s Soccer Tournament Sunday, Oct. 31 at Zoeller Field with a game time and opponent yet to be determined.