Paradiso Scores Twice on Senior Night to Lift Ohio State over Michigan State, 2-0
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Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Ohio State 2 (10-5-3, 5-4-2 B1G), Michigan State 0 (8-6-4, 4-5-2 B1G)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michela Paradiso scored twice to help lift the Ohio State women’s soccer team to a 2-0 win over Michigan State on Senior Night Wednesday evening at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
On a night when seniors Marisa Wolf, Katelyn Kraft and Paradiso were honored pregame, the Upper Arlington, Ohio, native tallied her first-career multi-goal game to help improve the Buckeyes to 10-5-3 overall and 5-4-2 in conference play. The 5-4-2 conference record gives Ohio State the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, where it will square off with No. 2 seed Wisconsin Sunday in Madison.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “Any time you’re in a must-win situation and your team steps up to the challenge, you have to feel good. It’s awesome for Michela, our senior captain, to help carry us and score twice on Senior Day. We took care of the ball extremely well and I think that made the difference.”
Ohio State wasted no time getting on the boards, taking the 1-0 lead in the third minute on the fourth goal of the season by Paradiso. Nikki Walts played a corner toward Paradiso, who possessed and fired a shot toward the far post from 18 yards on the left wing that snuck under the crossbar to give the Buckeyes the early lead.
Michigan State had an opportunity in the 13th minute when Allyson Krause blasted a volley from 25 yards but it narrowly missed wide left.
The Buckeyes continued to press forward before Paradiso doubled the Ohio State lead in the 31st minute. The senior co-captain was taken down in the box after beating a Michigan State defender before converting the ensuing penalty kick past Michigan State goalkeeper Gabrielle Gauruder to make it 2-0.
Michigan State almost cut the lead in half in the 39th minute when Kristelle Yewah possessed off an Ohio State turnover and fired a shot from 12 yards but Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr was there to deflect the ball over the crossbar as Ohio State took the 2-0 lead into the half.
Ohio State held an 8-4 lead in shots, including 5-2 on goal over the first 45 minutes. Both teams tallied a pair of corners.
The match continued with a back-and-forth second half with few chances until the 84th minute. Prince almost made it 3-0 when she snuck past a Michigan State defender and fired a left-footed strike from 12 yards, but again Gauruder was there to make the save.
Two minutes later, Walts had a chance on a shot from 18 yards on the left wing but Gauruder ranged far to her left to make a leaping save.
Ohio State then held on the rest of the way in a game in which it dictated start to finish to earn the spot in the Big Ten Tournament.
For the match, Ohio State held a 15-6 lead in shots, including 8-1 on goal. Both teams tallied three corner kicks. Kerr earned her first-career shutout in goal for the Buckeyes.
Kick of the Big Ten quarterfinal match against the Badgers is set for 1 p.m. ET Sunday. Ohio State is 11-11-4 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, earning championships in 2002, 2004 and 2012.