No. 7 Seed Ohio State Falls to No. 2 Seed Rutgers, 2-0, in Big Ten Semifinals
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University Park, Pa.
No. 7 Rutgers 2 (16-2-2, 7-2-2 B1G), Ohio State 0 (11-6-3, 5-4-2 B1G)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 7 seed Ohio State women’s soccer team fell to No. 3 seed Rutgers, 2-0, in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament Friday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 11-6-3 on the year while the seventh-ranked Scarlet Knights improve to 16-2-2 and will face the winner of No. 1 seed Penn State and No. 4 seed Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament championship Sunday afternoon.
The Buckeyes will find out their postseason fate on the NCAA selection show at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
“What I love about the past week is we’ve advanced this program and the winning attitude of this team in particular,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “I’d love to take back the whole first half because we played a little scared. Rutgers is a senior-laden team and they’re very good at what they do. We brought it in the second half but it wasn’t enough. There’s a lot we can take moving forward but we’re very confident with where we are moving into the NCAA Tournament.”
Rutgers jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the eighth minute when Colby Ciarrocca flicked home a finish from six yards past Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr after a long throw-in by Brianne Reed.
The Buckeyes tried to respond in the 12th minute when Nichelle Prince beat a Rutgers defender on the left wing and played a pass back to Sarah Roberts who blasted a shot from 15 yards but Rutgers goalkeeper Casey Murphy ranged to her right to make a leaping save to keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard.
Things stayed quiet until the 39th minute when Jennifer Andresen took advantage of a giveaway just outside the box and finished from 18 yards to make it 2-0 heading into the half.
The Scarlet Knights held a 6-2 lead in shots, including 3-1 on frame, over the first 45 minutes.
Nikki Walts almost got the Buckeyes on the board in the 53rd minute but her free kick from 30 yards narrowly missed over the crossbar.
Rutgers tried to hit on the counter in the 76th minute but Madison Tiernan’s shot from six yards on the right wing drifted just outside the near post.
The Buckeyes continued to push numbers forwards late, earning another opportunity in the 82nd minute off a long Walts free kick but Lindsay Agnew’s header from 10 yards sailed right into the arms of Murphy.
Ohio State had another chance with less than three minutes remaining when Walts possessed off a corner and struck a volley from 20 yards that drifted wide left as Rutgers came away with the 2-0 win.
For the game, Rutgers held a 13-9 lead in shots, including 5-3 on frame.