GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Ohio State women’s soccer team knocked off No. 5 Florida, 1-0, Friday night at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville. The Buckeyes improve to 1-2-0 on the year while the Gators fall to 2-1-0.
ICYMI: The Buckeyes earned their first win of 2018 last night, a 1-0 victory at No. 5 Florida. Back at it in our home opener vs. Duquesne at 7 p.m. Sunday!— Ohio State WSOC (@OhioStateWSOC) August 25, 2018
Recap, stats, photos and highlights➡️https://t.co/ZSGiXKRKRn #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/JA1pMAD5M5
QUOTE FROM THE COACH
“It was important for us to have a full roster,” Lori Walker-Hock, Ohio State head coach, said. “We had some players who weren’t with us last weekend who stepped up and passed fitness. I was really proud to have them here with us today because it made all the difference in our ability to press and our ability to sub. It’s always a challenge to find your first win. The depth of our team really showed and our midfield of Sarah Roberts, Arden Holden and Alyssa Baumbick was a difference-maker for us tonight.”
– The Buckeyes played on the front foot the majority of the first half, creating several quality chances against the Gators. After Kayla Fischer forced an early Gator turnover resulting in the Buckeyes’ first corner of the match in the ninth minute, Eleanor Gabriel put more pressure on the Florida back line in the 17th minute, playing a dangerous cross from the right wing into the six-yard box that was deflected just outside the far post by a Gator defender.
– A minute later, Arden Holden played through to Fischer, who tried to flick past Florida goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese but the senior was able to get her hand on it before it was cleared off the line by a defender. Then, in the 28th minute, Sarah Roberts collected 30 yards from goal, dribbled around a Florida defender and bent a left-footed strike toward the right post but Marckese again was there to get her fingertips on the shot to deflect it wide.
– The Gators’ best chance of the first 45 minutes came in the 36th minute when Lais Araujo lofted a shot from 25 yards on the left wing but Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr was there to deflect just over the crossbar.
– After another narrow miss for Fischer in the 49th minute when her shot from 20 yards curled just outside the left post, the freshman was able to convert in the 56th. Fischer made a run at a Florida defender, possessing into the left side of the box and fired a left-footed strike from 12 yards just inside the right post for her first career goal and the 1-0 Ohio State lead.
– The Buckeyes continued to press forward after Fischer’s goal but then had to hold off the Gator attack, thwarting a trio of Florida corners over the final 15 minutes, to finish off the win.
– Freshman Talani Barnett came off the bench to see her first action of her Buckeye career while Haley Walker-Robinson and Lexxe Lipsey each made their first appearances of 2018.
– Kerr notched her first clean sheet of the year after notching nine a year ago. The senior now sits in sole possession of fifth on the Ohio State career shutout list with 12.
– Kerr made four saves in the shutout win after coming in to the night ranked 24th nationally and tops in the Big Ten with 13 saves through two games.
– The Buckeyes improved to 26-1-1 when scoring first since 2016.
– Ohio State is now 2-0 all-time against the Gators after picking up a 1-0 overtime win in Columbus in 2015.
The Buckeyes host Duquesne in their home opener at 7 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.