Ohio State Falls to Top-Seeded Penn State in NCAA Round of 16
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University Park, Pa.
No. 6 Penn State 4 (19-3-2), Ohio State 0 (13-7-3)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Ohio State women’s soccer team concluded its 2015 season with a 4-0 loss to top-seeded and sixth-ranked Penn State in an NCAA Sweet 16 matchup Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. The Buckeyes, who advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the third time in the last six seasons, wrap up the season with a 13-7-3 record.
“We knew we had to get up early in order to be successful,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “We have played a lot of minutes lately with very few players off the bench. As the game went on, we knew it was going to get more difficult. In the first half, we were able to get to the final third and create some opportunities but we just didn’t have that kick that we needed. I thought we did well early but kind of hit a wall in the second half.”
Penn State had an early chance less than five minutes in when Megan Schafer gathered with her back to goal just outside the six-yard box, turned and fired but the shot missed wide left.
The Buckeyes came inches from taking the lead in the 19th minute. Nikki Walts played a short corner to Sarah Roberts, who crossed in from the right wing to Nichelle Prince but Prince’s left-footed strike from eight yards caromed off the left post and was cleared away.
The Nittany Lions had another opportunity in the 29th minute when Emily Ogle played a through ball down the middle to a streaking Frannie Crouse but Ohio State goalkeeper Jillian McVicker came out to deflect the shot over the crossbar.
Penn State then got on the board in the 43rd minute when Ellie Jean found Schafer at the center of the box and the forward turned and fired a left-footed strike from 12 yards off the outstretched arm of a diving McVicker for the 1-0 lead heading into the half.
The Nittany Lions held an 11-2 lead in shots, including 4-0 on goal, over the first 45 minutes.
Penn State then doubled its lead 51 seconds into the second half when Ogle played a free kick to the center of the box that was headed by Raquel Rodriguez off McVicker to make it a 2-0 game.
After McVicker had just made a diving save, ranging far to her right, on a shot by Crouse, the Nittany Lions added another in the 51st minute when Ogle lofted a shot from 20 yards into the upper right corner of the net for the 3-0 Penn State lead.
Ohio State had a chance to cut in to the lead in the 62nd minute when Lindsay Agnew split a pair of Penn State defenders down the left wing but her shot was right in to the arms of Nittany Lion goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom.
Penn State then capped the scoring in the 75th minute when Haleigh Echard’s left-footed shot from 25 yards on the left wing bounced off the far post and in for the 4-0 advantage.
The 2015 senior class of Katelyn Kraft, Michela Paradiso and Marisa Wolf conclude their careers with 45 wins, a Big Ten Tournament championship and a pair of trips to the Sweet 16 in three NCAA appearances.
“We have just gotten better every game,” Walker added. “Our objective is to play until we meet a team that’s playing better than us and today we did. We have a lot to be proud of and we’ll pick ourselves back up. Our three seniors have given us a lot this year and I’m proud of how far our program has come.”