First things first - Two wins, one weekend! The Lady Buckeyes beat the Mean Green from North Texas 2-0 on Friday and continued our streak with another 2-0 win against Toledo on Sunday. It was great to end the first phase of our season with two wins as we gear up for the start of Big Ten play next Sunday.
Friday began with a walk-through session at 10:30 focusing mainly on set pieces. This is typically a part of our game day routine since corner kicks and free kicks are such an important aspect of the game. A lot of times they can be the difference-makers, so we want to be as sharp as possible when given these opportunities! It was a short, but efficient session since we were definitely focused on the task at hand.
With some time off before pre-game meal, some of my teammates and I grabbed lunch before heading back to our apartment to relax. My downtime consisted of napping and painting my nails bright red to show my Buckeye pride =) Pre-game meal was at a place in the Gateway which is a pretty popular place among many of my teammates! After fueling up, it was time to head to the locker room to start preparing for game time!
It was a great night for soccer and for the Buckeyes, as we came out with a lot of energy. The Mean Green lived up to their name, as they were a very physical team with a lot of heart. However, we were able to create several scoring opportunities early, capitalizing on a corner kick in the 14th minute of play. Lauren Beachy served a great ball to the back post that Colleen Brady headed into the top corner. I was so excited that my freshman year roommate scored her first collegiate goal! We kept the momentum going, and we were able to score again a short while later when Courtney Jenkins hit a rocket from the top of the box after the ball deflected to her off of another corner kick (It looks like our dedication to set pieces paid off!) It was her first goal of the season. We headed into the half with a two-goal lead anxious to finish the game strong. The second half consisted of us moving the ball and controlling the tone of the game. We connected really well with each other and created some great attacking opportunities. As the game came to a close, we learned that our goalkeeper, Taz, had just broken the shutout record at Ohio State becoming the all-time leader with 23. I am so happy for her because she works so hard everyday and is fully committed to making our team great!
Saturday, the team came in for a light lift with Coach Hannah, our team's strength and conditioning coach, followed by a jog and stretch. With the rest of the day off, most of us spent our time relaxing and watching the football Buckeyes rebound from their most recent loss with a convincing win against the Rockets.
With Sunday's game against Toledo being an hour earlier than normal, we all ate breakfast on our own before meeting in the locker room for pre-game at 10:30. We were very excited that it was Parent's Day! Our parents walked out onto the field with us before the game for introductions and the national anthem. We are so grateful to have such supportive parents - whether it means tailgating before our games, providing us with delicious potlucks, or traveling all the way to California to cheer us on, we are lucky to have such amazing fans. So, a huge thank you to all of our proud Buckeye parents!
The first half of our game against the Rockets resulted in a scoreless tie. As a team, we came out a little sluggish and were out-worked by a tough Toledo team. Determined to play with much more enthusiasm in the second half, we were able to turn the game around and gain control. Shortly into the second half, Courtney Jenkins hit a free kick from about 40 yards out that landed perfectly into the side netting of the far post for her second goal of the weekend! After creating numerous scoring opportunities, Karin Sendel (a freshman all the way from Israel!) scored her first goal as a Buckeye off of a combination with Ashley Bowyer. It was a great play and an exciting way for Karin to cap off an awesome weekend. The game ended 2-0 in our favor, and we posted our seventh shutout of the season. As Taz notches another shutout for her career, it is important to note the awesome play of our entire defense. Team defending is something that we have been taking great pride in this year, and it is rewarding to see such positive results.
And so it was a Buckeye football/soccer sweep of the Rockets over the weekend, as our team concludes the non-conference season with a 7-1-1 record. We are in high spirits as we continue to grow as a team and begin our journey towards our goal of becoming Big Ten Champions. We know it will take an incredible amount of hard work and commitment in the upcoming weeks, and we are looking forward to the challenge.
Thanks for all of your support Buckeye fans! We hope to see everyone at our home game next Sunday against "that team up north." Until then, GO BUCKS!!