Ohio State Drops 4-1 Decision to No. 19 Illinois
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Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
No. 19 Illinois 4 (9-2-0, 4-1-0 Big Ten), Ohio State 1 (4-6-0, 1-3-0 Big Ten)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team fell to No. 19 Illinois, 4-1, Friday night at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 4-6-0, 1-3-0 in the Big Ten, while the Illini improve to 9-2-0, 4-1-0 in conference play.
“We’re not getting much to bounce our way and we’re giving up too many goals early in the game which takes the wind right out of our sails,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “We have to circle the wagons and start playing for each other. At times we play well but at times we play as individuals. We have to play as a team.”
Illinois got on the board in the sixth minute when Reagan Robishaw played a cross from the right wing that was volleyed near post from six yards by Jannelle Flaws to give the Fighting Illini the early 1-0 lead.
Illinois then doubled its lead in the 14th minute on an own goal when a Nicole Breece free kick from the right wing deflected off an Ohio State defender, then the fingertips of goalkeeper Megan Geldernick and inside the near post for the 2-0 advantage.
Nichelle Prince, seeing her first action of the year after battling back from a leg injury, almost cut the deficit in half in the 21st minute but her shot from 12 yards off a beautifully-slipped through ball from Ellyn Gruber narrowly missed wide right.
Michela Paradiso had a chance of her own in the 31st minute when she tracked down a long ball from Kayla Varner but her shot from 25 yards was deflected wide by a diving save from Illinois goalkeeper Claire Wheatley to keep it a 2-0 game.
Paradiso then split the deficit in half in the 40th minute when she flicked home a header off a Taylor Schissler free kick from midfield to make it a 2-1 Illinois lead.
It stayed a 2-1 game heading into the half as Illinois held a 6-4 lead in shots, 4-2 on goal, over the first 45 minutes.
After the Buckeyes had done a solid job with possession in search of an equalizer to start the second half, Flaws made it a two-goal game once again when a Wheatley goal kick skipped past the Ohio State defense and Flaws finished a breakaway far post from eight yards to make it a 3-1 game in the 59th minute.
Ohio State defender Marisa Wolf then was issued a red card in the 71st minute, forcing the Buckeyes to play with 10 players on the field the rest of the way.
The Illini then capped the scoring in the 83rd minute when a long ball deflected off an Ohio State defender past Geldernick and Casey Conine finished into an empty net to push the Illinois advantage to 4-1.
For the game, the Illini held a 14-6 advantage in shots, including 6-3 on goal.
Ohio State faces Northwestern at 2 p.m. Sunday.
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