KENT, Ohio – Despite giving Kent State (13-5-2) all they could handle through 110 minutes of play and a masterful performance by Erin Beurket, the eighth-seeded Ohio soccer team (7-10-3) would tie 1-1, but would ultimately fall to the top-seeded Flashes, 4-2, in penalty kicks in the Mid-American Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday (Oct. 29).
"We've been really proud of this group all season," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "We've had some ups and downs all season, but we know what we're capable of. We knew that we could compete with anyone in the league. The seeding didn't mean anything to us because we knew what we had to work of since we just played them three days ago. We knew what to expect and we knew we could be better than we were Thursday. The players were amazing in their adjustments and creating opportunities that we did. Playing with such heart and grit to come back from a goal down shows a lot of character for this team. We can't be any prouder of this group and what they have accomplished. We're really proud of the seniors for leaving this legacy and setting such a good foundation for the future. We'll miss them."
The Bobcats would get the first attempt of the game, when in the second minute, Allie Curry (Fairfield, Ohio) would get the ball on a breakaway and fire the ball straight at the KSU keeper, who would make the early save.
Kent State would respond moments later when starting keeper Beurket (Milford, Ohio) would snag the attempt from the Flashes. Kent State's best attempt early on came in the sixth minute when Kent State would fire the ball from 30-yards out and it would just clip the top of the crossbar, going out of play and keeping the game at 0-0.
Ohio would go on the offensive attack and in the 10th minute, Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio) would receive the ball on another breakaway and pass off to Madelyn Kah (Hamilton, Ohio) who would fire the ball about 25-yards out, where the ball would bounce right off the cross bar, keeping the game at 0-0.
Kent State would get the next few shots of the game, with the first one coming in the 11th minute that would be saved by Beurket and the next one would come in the 15th minute, and the ball would go just wide of the net.
Ohio would get an attempt in the 16th minute when Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) would head the ball off a free kick, but the ball would be snagged by the KSU keeper.
After an attempt by KSU would go wide in the 16th minute, the Flashes would get their next best chance of the game a minute later when after getting the ball to the front of the net, Beurket would make the initial save and after Kent got the rebound, their next attempt would be blocked before the last shot attempt would go wide of the net, stopping the threat.
Ohio would get an attempt in the 21st minute, when once again on the breakaway, Remi Eades (New Albany, Ohio) would get the ball and fire it just high of the net.
After Eades' attempt, Kent State would go on the attack, getting a shot off in the 23rd minute that would go high after a corner kick.
The next shot of the game wouldn't come until the 39th minute when Kent State's attempt would go wide of the net. The Flashes' next attempt would come in the 41st minute when the ball would once again hit off the crossbar, bouncing out of play, keeping the game at 0-0.
The attempt by the Flashes would be the last attempt by either team and after an intense first 45 minutes of play, the Bobcats and Kent State would go to the half tied at 0-0.
At the half, Kent State outshot the Bobcats 12-4 while getting two shots on goal with KSU getting three on goal. In net, Beurket recorded three saves on 12 shots faced.
Ohio would get the first attempt in the second half, when in the 50th minute, Kah would once again get the ball about 30-yards out and fire it to the net, however the KSU keeper would just manage to get her fingertips on the ball just before it curved into the top corner, keeping the game tied at 0-0.
Kent State's first attempt of the half would come in the 54th minute on a ball that would be snagged by Beurket.
A few minutes later, Eades would receive the ball on the breakaway, but would lose her footing as she fired the ball towards the net, with the ball sailing just high.
Kent State would finally strike in the 64th minute when Vital Kats would get the ball from Cameron Shedenhelm and push the ball just past the diving Beurket, giving them a 1-0 lead.
Kent State would get the next attempts when in the 65th minute, the Flashes would get the ball on a breakaway and fire the ball just high of the net.
The Bobcats would get the equalizer just four minutes later when Sara Kattainen (Tampere, Finland) would enter the game and take a corner kick of the Bobcats. Mandy Arnzen (Edgewood, Ky.) would then receive the ball off the send in and push it just past the Kent State keeper, tying the game up at 1-1.
Kent State would get the next attempt in the 74th minute on a ball that would defect off the post, keeping the game tied at 1-1.
Kent State would get the next three attempts, with the first one going wide of the net in the 79th minute. Their next attempt in the 80th minute would be saved by Beurket who came out of the net and blocked the shot, keeping the game at 1-1.
In the 82nd minute, Milesky would get the ball and fire the ball to the net, but it would go just high of the net.
Kent State would register a shot in the 83rd minute and then in the 88th minute, Ohio's Hannah Jaggers (Taylorsville, Ky.) would get the last registered attempt of regulation and the game would go to overtime tied at 1-1.
At the end of regulation, Ohio would register nine shots with four on goal, while Kent State would record 19 shots with nine on goal.
Kent State would get the first attempt of overtime, when in the 93rd minute, Beurket would come out and make the save on a ball fired towards the net, keeping the game alive.
In the 98th minute, Ohio would get a corner kick and the send in would be just tipped by the KSU keeper, keeping the game at 1-1, sending the game to the second overtime.
In the second overtime, Kent State would get a number of chances off of three-straight corner kicks. On the third attempt in the 106th minute, it appeared that Kent State had scored, however the goal would be waved off and the game would continue.
Then in the 108th minute, Kent State would get another attempt, but Beurket would make the diving save to keep the game going and send it into penalty kicks tied at 1-1.
In penalty kicks, Curry would get the first attempt for Ohio, and she would put it past the keeper into the left corner of the net. Kent State would even it up when Donavon Capehart would connect on her attempt. After a miss by Eades, Kent's Kristen Brots would connect on hers to give KSU the 2-1 advantage.
Leckie would tie it up when she drilled her attempt. Unfortunately, that would be the last one the Bobcats would get and Kent State would connect on their next two to give KSU the 4-2 PK win.
Overall in the game, Ohio registered nine shots with four on goal, while Kent State recorded 21 shots with eight on goal. Eades, Kah and Milesky both recorded two shots each, while Arnzen had a goal on one shot and Curry and Jaggers both recorded attempts as well.
In net, Beurket was masterful, allowing one goal and recording seven saves in 110:00 minutes of work.
"Erin was fantastic today," Rodgers said. "Her and Sydney Malham split time as the season went on, and when Syd went down with an injury, we needed Erin to step up and she did. She was fantastic today. Some of the saves that she made were excellent. Her ability to organize and communicate was fantastic. We needed everyone to play well and she did her part."
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