COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State Buckeyes dropped their first game of the season, 2-0, Sunday at Louisville. The Cardinals got a goal at the 15-minute mark and the clincher at the 85-minute mark to snap the Buckeyes’ six-game winning streak to open the season.
The Buckeyes, who had outscored their opponents this season, 14-3, and out-shot them, 114-62, were sluggish early in the match, according to associate head coach Greg Miller, but were applying pressure to the Cardinals with four-consecutive shots and three corner kicks between the 8- and 14-minute marks of the first half. Just one of the attempts was on goal, though, and 44 seconds after Louisville goalkeeper Joanna Haig made the save teammate Shannon Smith scored off an assist from Meredith Tolley. Smith beat OSU’s Lauren Robertson with a low shot to the middle of the net.
"We started off sluggish in the first half," Miller said. "We allowed Louisville to set plays and that was a huge factor the whole game. They played through the midfield and up to their forwards."
Still, the half ended with Louisville holding only a 1-0 lead. The shot attempts were virtually even with OSU holding a one shot edge, 8-7.
The Buckeyes, who fought back from a one-goal deficit to win a game last week against Ohio, played much better throughout the second half. The Buckeyes fired eight more shots toward the Louisville goal, compared to one for Louisville, but were not able to get any of their three shots on goal past Haig.
"We made some halftime adjustments and eliminated their ability to play through the midfield," Miller said. "This enabled us to get into a rhythm and come back at them. We changed our shape to be even more of an attacking team with 10 minutes to go and it cost us the second goal. That's the risk you take when you're trying to tie the score."
It was when Ohio State was attacking that the Cardinals' Smith sent a cross to the right side of the goal that Kelsey Hunyadi blasted home for the game-clinching score at 84:55.
Not only did the loss snap OSU’s six-game winning streak this season, but it also snapped a six-game winning streak against the Cardinals. The Buckeyes had won all six previous meetings before today. Louisville is now 5-1 on the year and Ohio State is 6-1.
Ohio State is off until Friday when the team takes on No. 2-ranked North Carolina in the Adidas Classic in Durham, N.C. UNC, the defending national champion, is the alma mater of coach Lori Walker. Walker will have concluded her FIFA Women’s World Cup broadcasting responsibilities and will be on the sidelines for the game. Ohio State will play tournament host Duke on Sunday to conclude the classic.
OSU News and Notes:
- "We created a lot of different chances to score," associate head coach Greg Miller said of the second half vs. Louisville when OSU had 11 corner kicks.
- Ohio State’s 6-0 start was a first for the 15-year women’s soccer program.
- The 6-1 mark is the second-best seven-game start next to the 2003 team’s 6-0-1 start.
- Ohio State had scored in 10-consecutive games prior to getting shut out at Louisville. The last time OSU failed to score was Oct. 15, 2006: a 1-0 loss at Penn State.
- The Louisville game was the first of four-consecutive matches three of them on the road against teams that played in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Games against No. 2 and defending national champion North Carolina and Duke in Durham are up next followed by a home match vs. Illinois.
- The game against North Carolina will be a neutral site affair. The Buckeyes are 19-17-1 all-time on neutral sites.
- The Nov. 1, 2001, game against North Carolina drew a record 3,006 fans to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
- The date of the Illinois match is Sept. 28 with a 7:30 p.m. start.