Toledo sustained a 3-1 loss to Kent State on Sunday at "Senior Day" at Scott Park. With the setback, the Rockets fall to 5-12-1 overall, 2-7-1 in the Mid-American Conference. The defeat also eliminates UT from qualifying for the MAC Tournament, ending a string of eight-consecutive years in the postseason.
The Golden Flashes (11-7-0, 6-4-0 MAC) took advantage of a pair of second half goals to break a 1-1 tie and claim their first victory in the Glass City since 2003. KSU scored the final two markers on its only two shots in the second stanza. 2013 MAC Offensive Player of the Year candidate Jessacca Gironda sparked the triumph with a match-high three points (one goal, one assist) on the afternoon.
Despite not getting the desired outcome, the Midnight Blue & Gold dominated the stat sheet for a second consecutive match and finished with a 19-7 edge in shots, including seven by senior Rachel MacLeod. The 2011 MAC Offensive Player of the Year has now fired off at least seven shots in three of the last four contests. Toledo also held a sizable 8-1 advantage in corner kicks, but the four-time MAC Tournament champions were unable to capitalize on enough chances and as a result suffered its third straight loss.
Toledo started fast in today's MAC cross-division matchup and had a golden opportunity to score on a shot by sophomore Kika Hernandez. The second-year Rocket received a cross from MacLeod and fired a shot that KSU goalie Stephanie Senn saved with 32:03 remaining in the first half.
A little over 20 minutes later, Toledo's MacLeod put a solid header on frame off a cross by freshman Kiersten Johnson only to have Kent State's Senn punch it over the cross bar and out of play.
After dodging a couple of good scoring opportunities by the home team, Kent State cashed in on a shot by Jacklyn Dutton at 32:00. The Golden Flashes had the ball deep in UT territory when Stephanie Haugh and Gironda setup Dutton on the doorstep for her second goal of the season.
UT was quick to counter, though, as MacLeod scored her team-high 12th goal a little over three minutes later. The Westerville, OH native had her back to the goal when she received a long pass from freshman Chelsea Thompson and a header by Siudzinski. MacLeod quickly turned toward the middle of the KSU goal box and blasted a shot from about 12 yards out that slid just inside the near post to make the score 1-1 at the break. MacLeod's 12 goals are now third most in school history in a season.
Following the intermission, Toledo had a golden opportunity to reclaim the lead on another shot by MacLeod with 31:19 left in regulation. MacLeod's attempt off a corner kick by Siudzinski bounced off the far post and caromed out of danger.
Kent State retaliated with the eventual winning score on Gironda's team-high 12th goal at 57:06. Teammate Madison Helterbran came in from the left side to start the play and slid past a UT defender before advancing the ball to Morgan Mah deep into Toledo territory. Mah quickly passed the sphere to Gironda in front of the Rockets goal. The Golden Flashes' forward took it from there and deposited it into the back of the net to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish. Gironda paced Kent State with four shots on the afternoon.
KSU then extended its margin on a tally by Megan Johnson at 62:02 to set the final score at 3-1. Johnson simply out-jumped the Toledo defense on a corner kick from Haugh and hammered a shot off the far post and into back of frame to close out the scoring.
Senior Kelsey Borowitz drew the start in goal for the Rockets and made one save in the opening 76-plus minutes between the posts. Sophomore sophomore Sam Tiongson came on in relief of Borowitz and did not have to make a stop over the final 13-plus minutes.
KSU's Senn went the distance in goal and was credited with four stops to collect the road victory.
Toledo will wrap up its 2013 season on the road against Northern Illinois on Thursday, Oct. 31. The opening whistle against the Huskies is slated for 2:30 p.m. (CT) at the NIU Soccer & Track and Field Complex.
Kent State 3, TOLEDO 1
KSU: J. Dutton (S. Haugh, J. Gironda), 32:00
UT: R. MacLeod (C. Thompson, G. Siudzinski), 35:28
KSU: J. Gironda (M. Helterbraun, M. Mah), 57:06
KSU: M. Johnson (S. Haugh), 62:02
SHOTS: UT 19, KSU 7
CORNER KICKS: UT 8, KSU 1
SAVES: UT 1, KSU 4