COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Three different players scored as Ohio State built a 3-0 second-half lead and hung on to defeat Kent State, 3-2, Friday afternoon at Buckeye Varsity Field. Ohio State improves to 4-7 overall while Kent State falls to 6-5.
THE SHORT STORY
Junior Maddy Humphrey and freshman Esther Clotet Alsina each had a goal and assist while sophomore Irene Fritschy scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute for an efficient Ohio State offense that saw five of its 10 shots end up on goal. Kent State scored twice in the final six minutes and pressed for the equalizer as time expired, but to no avail.
HUMPHREY SCORES ON BUCKEYES' FIRST SHOT
After Kent State was able to get the first three shots of the game off in the opening seven minutes, Humphrey swung the momentum in Ohio State's favor and she and Clotet Alsina hooked up on a breakaway goal. Clotet Alsina created the opportunity by flicking a pass around midfield to Humphrey, who raced down the middle of the field without a defender in front of her and blasted a shot as KSU goalie Andrea Rinehart to the lower left of the cage. For Humphrey, it was her team-leading eighth goal of the season.
BUCKEYE DEFENSE STIFFINS
Kent State continued to press for the equalizer before halftime, getting nine total shots off in the first 35 minutes thanks in large part to four penalty corners. The Ohio State defense, however, was up to the task each time. Junior goalie Liz Tamburro made five first-half saves and finished with nine on the afternoon, the second time in the last three games she's made nine or more saves.
OPPORTUNISITC CLOTET ALSINA
Twelve minutes into the second half, Ohio State's lead grew to 2-0 when the Humphrey-Clotet Alsina duo was at it again. This time, it was Clotet Alsina doing the goal-scoring, as she tapped in a pass from Humphrey close rage for her fifth score of the season. The freshman from Barcelona, Spain has at least one point in six of 11 games and multiple points in five contests.
TURNOVER MAKES IT 3-0
Just five minutes later, Kent State made a costly turnover deep in their own zone and Fritschy made them pay. The sophomore from Zwolle, The Netherlands stole a pass outside of the circle, dribbled in and converted on her shot, making the score 3-0 with 17:20 remaining. It was Fritschy's first goal for the Scarlet and Gray. She previously had a pair of assists in the Buckeyes' season-opener at Delaware.
KENT STATE SCORES TWICE
The Golden Flashes, who won the Mid-American Conference last year and played in the NCAA Tournament, didn't go away. Silvia Figa Malgosa finally converted on KSU's ninth penalty corner of the game, collecting a rebound off the pads of Tamburro and cutting the deficit to 3-1 with 6:49 remaining. Just four minutes later, Alison Harmatz scored unassisted when she dribbled into the circle and sent a shot in from five yards out.
That's as close as Kent State would get however, as the Buckeye defense didn't allow another shot of the final two and a half minutes.
• Due to lightning in the area, the start of Friday's game was delayed by an hour.
• Ohio State has now won five of the last six meetings vs. Kent State
• With a goal and assist, Humphrey increased her career total to 76 points (30 goals, 16 assists). This year, she has multiple points in seven of 11 games and goals in seven different contests.
• Tamburro, the Big Ten leader in saves, has 30 stops over the last six games, including seven or more stops in three of five games.
• The Buckeyes are 3-2 on the year when scoring first and 3-0 when leading at halftime.
Ohio State plays its final non-conference game of the 2016 season on Monday when it travels to Ball State (4-6) for a 3 p.m. game.