"Our offense created a bunch of chances today but we just have to put them away," head coach Lori Walker said. "We were in on three breakaways in the first half and were stifled on all three but you have to credit to Milwaukee for coming out and taking care of business on our home field."
Ohio State freshman goalkeeper Rachel Middleman was tested in the first minute of her first collegiate start. Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Mackenzie Gillaspie drilled a shot on frame but Middleman made the save. Just over a minute later, the nation's leader in goals per game as a sophomore in 2009, Sarah Hagen, broke down the Buckeye defense and finished far post to put the Panthers up 1-0.
However, the Buckeyes would answer in the 8th minute when Paige Maxwell scored the equalizer on a header from six yards out off a corner from Lauren Beachy. Maxwell led Ohio State with eight goals as a freshman in 2008 and tied for the team lead with six last season.
A few minutes later, Lauren Granberg, the other Buckeye co-leader in goals a year ago, created a great opportunity when she got in behind the defense but Panther goalkeeper Leslie Deebach was able to deflect the shot high.
With just under 10 minutes left in the half, Ohio State had another golden opportunity when Tiffany Cameron had a one-on-one with the Wisconsin-Milwaukee goalkeeper but the shot was deflected out. Caitlyn Martin drilled a shot far post off the rebound but it was blocked by a Panther defender.
The teams went into the half tied as the Buckeyes tallied seven shots, four on goal, compared to five shots, three on goal, for Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Neither team was able to muster many opportunities in the second stanza until Cameron cut inside the Wisconsin-Milwaukee defense in the 74th minute but her shot from the left side of the box sailed just high. Gillaspie then had an opportunity of her own for the Panthers in the 77th minute but her attempt to take the lead drifted over the crossbar.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee then broke through in the 80th minute on a goal from 35 yards out by Nicole Sperl. After Ohio State goalkeeper Katie Baumgardner came out to attempt to clear the ball from the top of the box, Sperl lofted the clearance over the head of Cassie Dickerson and into the back of the net.
Ohio State managed three more solid chances in the next five minutes but shots by Granberg and Cameron were both saved by Panthers substitute goalkeeper Jamie Forbes. Granberg then had a header off a corner sail just high.
For the game, the Buckeyes outshot the Panthers 14-8 including 7-4 on goal. Ohio State also held a 9-1 advantage on corner kicks.
Next up, the Buckeyes (0-1) host Marquette at 1 p.m. Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.