Johnson, Humphrey Spark Buckeyes Past Iowa, 3-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The dynamic duo was at it again on Sunday in Iowa City. Senior Peanut Johnson (two goals, one assist) and sophomore Maddy Humphrey (one goal) provided the offense while a stout Ohio State defense, led by nine saves from goalie Liz Tamburro, kept Iowa off the scoreboard over the final 30 minutes of the second half. It all added up to a 3-1 Buckeye victory, improving Ohio State’s record to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. Iowa is now 9-7, 2-4.
Johnson’s two tallies give her 33 goals in her career and a total of 86 points (33 goals, 20 assists). She has 22 points this season on nine goals and four assists. Humphrey, who is second on the team with 21 points, scored the game’s first goal on a breakaway that was created in the midfield when Johnson stole a pass and fed ahead to Humphrey. She pulled Iowa goalie Alexandra Pecora out of the cage and beat her to the lower right of the goal. The Johnson-Humphrey combo is one of the top scoring in the Big Ten and they have at least one point in nine of 14 games.
Humphrey’s goal came with less than a minute remaining before halftime and marked the sixth time this year the Buckeyes have scored first (they are 6-0 in those games). Iowa seized the momentum in the early stages of the second half, however, as Mallory Lefkowitz deflected in a shot from close range just 5:21 into the period.
From there, however, Johnson took over and the Buckeyes never looked back. The senior scored in the 56th minute when he launched a shot from the top of the arch into the right corner of the cage, and followed that up just four minutes later when she drove down the left wing of the field and bounced a shot off the goalie and into the cage. For good measure, Johnson finished off her day with a defensive save in the second half.
That two-goal lead proved to be more than enough for a Ohio State defense that fought off numerous Iowa scoring chances thanks to the efforts of Tamburro, who stopped nine shots. It was her sixth game this season with eight or more saves. She leads the Big Ten in that category (88 total saves, 6.3 per game).
Also on defense, the combination of Tamburro, Emma Royce, Hannah Pany, Caroline Rath and Carolina Vergroesen held Stephanie Norlander, the conference’s leading scorer with 32 points (14 goals, four assists) without a point for just the fifth time in 16 games. Iowa outshot Ohio State 22-10 and had an 8-4 edge in penalty corners.
Sunday’s win marked Ohio State’s first over Iowa since the 2010 season. The Buckeyes return to action next weekend when they close out the home schedule with games against No. 16 Northwestern (Friday, 3:30 p.m.) and California (Sunday, 1 p.m.).
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