Cleveland State University soccer player McKenna Vento earned Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 17 through Sept. 24. Vento, a senior midfielder, received the accolade thanks to her two-goal performance in the Sept. 17 match against IUPUI.
The goals may have won her player of the week, but Vento’s focus at Cleveland State has been setting others up to score. Her 11 assists as a Viking tie Vento for second in program history, trailing all-time leader Vickie Havas by eight.
“Coming into the season, I really wanted to get the record for most assists,” Vento said.
Despite besting her career season high for goals roughly halfway through the season, Vento does not believe that her role on the team has changed.
“As a center midfielder, your job is to create and set up others to score,” Vento said. “Over the past two years I have become more of an offensive threat by getting in spots to also score goals.”
Despite her focus on assists, Vento has become a force scoring the ball. Her five goals on the season tie her with two other players for the most in the Horizon League this season.
Vento said she believes an adjustment inspired by her coaches has been key to her success scoring goals this season.
“From last season to this season, my coaches preached the saying ‘shoot low and away,’ which is a technique I’ve practiced a lot,” Vento said.
The goals that Vento has scored in her career have tended to come at key times in the game. Half of Vento’s goals this year were game winners. In fact, seven out of Vento’s 11 goals as a Viking were decided the contest. Despite evidence to the contrary, Vento does not believe she has a knack for these clutch goals.
“Honestly, I think it’s just a coincidence,” Vento said. “It does help that I’m usually on the field in important moments of the game when we are searching for a goal.”
Vento and the Vikings (7-4-1) will host Horizon League opponent Green Bay University Saturday, Oct. 6.