KENT, Ohio – Two second-half goals were the difference Friday as The University of Akron women’s soccer team was beaten by Kent State, 2-0, at a muddy Zoeller Field.
The two sides each fired nine shots, with Akron holding a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Jordan Clark fired three shots for the Zips and Ashley Hughes put two strikes on frame. Kelly DeNiro had one of her two shots rip off the crossbar, while senior keeper Jeny Wolbert made two saves in the contest.
Kent State found the breakthrough in the 64th minute when Stephanie Haugh volleyed a cross from Jessica Gironda past Wolbert. It was the Golden Flashes first chance of the second stanza.
DeNiro’s close-range blast rattled KSU netminder Kelly Sherwood’s near post and Hughes’s follow-up attempt was cleared off the line to deny Akron the equalizer just minutes later. Kyarah Foushee played DeNiro in who tried to beat Sherwood near post, only to be denied by the frame. The action proved to be Akron’s best shot at finding the tying score.
Kent State upped the lead with less than ten minutes to go in the match. Sara Henderson took a flick off a long throw and buried it past Wolbert from seven yards out. Jaclyn Dutton was credited with the assist on the 85th minute tally.
Akron began to create chances in the latter stages of the first half after the early moments of the game saw no real chances.
Clark rose to meet Kelly DeNiro’s corner with 15 minutes to go, but the header was grabbed by Sherwood. Clark’s free kick from just outside the box was directly at Sherwood a few minutes later.
The Zips continued to push for a goal in the early moments after halftime.
DeNiro attempted to grab the opener when she shot from distance five minutes into the second-half. Her shot skipped through to cause trouble for Sherwood - who was forced to deflect the ball over the end-line for a corner.
Akron looks to get back on track Sunday when they travel to Buffalo for a 12:00 p.m. game.
Zips Notebook: The match was contested as part of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge, the all-sports competition between the two rivals.