EVANSTON, Ill. – Behind an overtime game-winning free kick from Izzy Rodriguez, the Ohio State women’s soccer team topped No. 21 Northwestern, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-4-0 on the year, 2-1-0 in Big Ten play, while the Wildcats fall to 7-2-2, 1-2-1 in conference play.
A BEAUTY OF A GAME-WINNER
After a pair of corners from Rodriguez, Talani Barnett was taken down just outside the box in the final 10 seconds of the first overtime. Rodriguez then curled a left-footed free kick just inside the right post past Northwestern goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood to give the Buckeyes their second win of the weekend.
QUOTE FROM THE COACH
“I’m so proud of our team for grinding on the road on a Sunday,” Lori Walker-Hock, Ohio State head coach, said. “Everyone stayed focused on doing their job. I am not surprised the match was decided on a set piece. The game was direct, physical and ugly and sometimes ugly is beautiful. Getting six points on the road in one weekend is difficult in this conference and our non-conference battles prepared us for this. We look forward to finally playing at home.”
In a first half with few chances for either side, Ohio State’s best opportunity came less than 10 minutes in when Emaly Vatne hit a right-footed shot from 20 yards toward the left post but Wood ranged to her right to make the stop.
Northwestern’s best chance came three minutes later when a long ball sailed to the head of Kayleigh Stahlschmidt at the center of the box but Buckeye goalkeeper Devon Kerr dove to her right to make the save on the header from eight yards. Less than three minutes into the second half, Blair Cowan nearly gave the Buckeyes the lead. Eleanor Gabriel laid a pass off to the freshman, who almost had Wood leaning to her right, but the Northwestern keeper dove to her left to keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard.
In the 84th minute, Northwestern had its best opportunity of the second half when a corner eventually fell to Hannah Davison, but her shot from eight yards on the right side of the box flew wide right as the match headed to overtime.
– Kerr made four saves to notch her fourth clean sheet of the year and 15th of her career to tie Nicole Morris for third on the Ohio State career list.
– Rodriguez’s goal was the first of her career.
– The Buckeyes, playing in their first overtime match of the year, improved to 9-2-7 in overtime contests since the start of the 2015 season.
– The match was the Buckeyes seventh road match of the year compared just two contests at home. Ohio State is 4-3-0 on the road in 2018.
Shots: Ohio State 15, Northwestern 11
Saves: Northwestern 6, Ohio State 4
Shots on Goal: Ohio State 7, Northwestern 4
Corner Kicks: Northwestern 8, Ohio State 3
Ohio State returns home to face Iowa at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 and Nebraska on Senior Day at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30.