Gruber's Overtime Game-Winner Gives Ohio State 2-1 Win Over Eastern Michigan
Aug 25, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Behind Ellyn Gruber's game-winner in the 99th minute, the Ohio State women's soccer team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 2-1 overtime victory over Eastern Michigan Sunday evening at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes tie the program record 13-match unbeaten streak previously set in 2004.
Gruber's goal, her second-career tally and second-career game-winner, came in the 99th minute when she finished from six yards into an empty net after Michela Pardiso's shot caromed off Eastern Michigan goalkeeper Megan McCabe.
"The team showed a lot of heart which over time is difficult in the early season," Ohio State head coach Lori Walker said. "We had a lot of opportunities and I'm pleased that we found a way to win. It wasn't the most beautiful game we've ever played but we were able to get two wins in one weekend and that's always a success."
Ohio State had an early chance in the third minute when Nichelle Prince lofted a shot from 10 yards out that was deflected off the crossbar by McCabe. Lindsay Agnew then came streaking in from the left wing but her attempt from eight yards on the rebound sailed high.
Eastern Michigan responded with a chance of its own in the 10th minute when Angela Vultaggio tracked down a long ball at the top of the box but her shot from 10 yards was stopped by a diving save from Ohio State goalkeeper Rachel Middleman.
The Eagles then took the lead in the 31st minute when Cara Cutaia put back her own rebound from 12 yards out for her second goal of the season.
Eastern Michigan almost added to its lead in the 43rd minute but Middleman came up big again with a leaping save on a shot by Cutaia from 10 yards as the Eagles took the 1-0 lead into the half.
Ohio State held an 8-5 lead in shots and a 4-1 advantage in corners over the first 45 minutes.
After controlling possession for the start of the second half, Agnew knotted the game at 1-1 in the 60th minute. The freshman slipped in behind the Eastern Michigan defense and headed home a long ball from Ashley Gruenbaum from eight yards out for her second goal of the season.
Ohio State had another opportunity in the 81st minute when Kayla Varner connected with Agnew on a nice combination play in the box but Agnew's shot from 12 yards sailed right into the arms of McCabe.
Eastern Michigan earned a chance of its own with just over three minutes left in regulation when Vultaggio snuck in behind the Buckeye defense but her shot from 10 yards out on the right wing was deflected over the crossbar by Ohio State goalkeeper Jillian McVicker as the teams headed to overtime tied 1-1.
Ohio State tallied a chance less than a minute into overtime with Prince went streaking across the middle of the box but her right-footed strike from 12 yards narrowly missed wide left. The Buckeyes continued to apply pressure to the Eastern Michigan back line until Gruber was able to break through with the game-winner.
"We put ourselves in a really good spot prior to the goal," Gruber said. "We had a great build-up from our forwards, Michela hit a really hard shot off the keeper and luckily I was able to follow it up."
For the game, Ohio State outshot the Eagles 19-9, including 6-4 on goal, while holding a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Ohio State hosts Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Wednesday.