COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State Buckeyes were not satisfied with a 2-0 lead at the half of their game Friday against Wisconsin nor were they convinced that it was a safe lead. Two goals in the second half proved to be the convincers as the Buckeyes rolled to their fifth consecutive victory, 4-0, before 1,005 fans at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes unleashed a 16-shot attack against the Badgers, with 13 of those shots on goal that kept UW keeper Jamie Klages busy the entire evening. Lisa Collison, now just one goal away from the all-time Ohio State goals scored record, scored twice in the first half off beautiful assists from Ashley Bowyer. Paige Maxwell and Laura Roberts tallied second-half markers to give Ohio State its largest margin of victory since a 5-0 win over Morehead State in 2005.
“The challenge presented to our team was to take each half as its own game,” Ohio State coach Lori Walker said. “A 2-0 lead is not a secure score. We told the team at halftime to wipe the slate clean and work to win the second half and that is what we did.”
The play of a re-tooled midfield sparked the win, which improved Ohio State’s record to 5-4-2 overall and 2-0-0 in the Big Ten. Four assists started in the midfield with Alex Burzynski selected as the player of the game for her steady play and all around control in the absence of Emily Esbrook. Burzynski assisted on the Buckeyes’ third goal by sending a pass into the box that led to a Lauren Beachy shot and Maxwell’s rebound goal.
Bowyer sent countless, masterful through balls by Wisconsin players and into seams all night. She could have easily had a handful of assists instead of the two she did get, increasing her team-best total to six this season.
Collison was simply dynamite. After missing on two early chances to score off Bowyer lasers that were right on target, Collison converted another Bowyer pass by sidestepping Klages to score from 10-yards out in the 22nd minute to open the scoring.
Six minutes later Bowyer and Collison hooked up again to make the score 2-0. This time Bowyer drove a free kick from the right side into the box that Collison angled into the net off a beautiful header.
Bowyer credited the forwards for her assists.
“The forwards on our team have really been making great runs lately, and I’ve been able to connect with them more,” the junior physical therapy major said. “We got off to a slow start in the beginning of the season, but we are all on the same page and it’s great.”
Collison also credited teammates for her current hot streak of 11 points during the five-game winning streak.
“I give props to my teammates,” Collison, a senior human development major, said. “They have been able to find me in the right spots. My confidence is really high right now and I give all my credit to my teammates. It’s my responsibility as a forward to make plays and it worked out tonight.”
Maxwell, who made a living in the box the area was “Maxwell’s house” tonight with four shots on goal from in close, added her third goal of the season in the 57th minute and Roberts sealed the win with a goal from the right side in the 83rd minute, less than a minute after she entered the game.
“I started crying after I scored,” said Roberts, a positive, hard-working sophomore who was seeing her first action since the Evansville game. “I was just so glad to get a chance to get in the game and help my team out. The goal wouldn’t have been possible without Caitlin Colfer’s assist, though.”
The whole team gets credit for an assist tonight because this was truly a team effort.
- The 13 shots on goal represented a season-high and were taken by eight different players.
- The defenders with sophomore Lauren Steuer leading a starting unit that included freshmen Liz Sullivan, Colleen Brady and Danielle Scoliere were solid as was goalkeeper Lauren “Taz” Robertson, who made six saves including one terrific, diving effort late in the game.
- Robertson recorded her second consecutive shutout and the 15th of her career, which ties her with Nicole Morris for second on Ohio State’s career list.
- And the Buckeyes out-fouled the aggressive Badgers, 11-4.
Ohio State will seek a sixth consecutive win Sunday at 3 p.m. when it hosts Northwestern. Pink bracelets and pink balloons will be given away at the door in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Ohio State men’s team hosts Eastern Illinois at noon in the first half of the doubleheader.
Game Notes and Other Notes of Interest:
- The game was delightful to watch almost breathtaking at times with Ohio State’s run after run toward to the Wisconsin goal and the environment was rocking. The pep band was on hand as were members of Block O, Ohio State’s student support group.
- Wisconsin, which drops to 6-5-1 overall and 0-3-0 in the Big Ten, had 13 shot attempts and six on goal.
- Ohio State was minus two key midfielders for the game: Emily Esbrook, a 10-game starter in the midfield, and Caitlyn Martin were out with illness and injury, respectively. The two have combined for eight points this season, including six assists.
- Versatile Lauren Beachy moved up from the back line to start at midfield in place of Esbrook. Danielle Scoliere started in Beachy’s defender position.
- Lisa Collison, so good the past four games off the bench with seven points, returned to the starting lineup at forward, opposite freshman Paige Maxwell.
- The multi-goal game was the eighth of Collison’s career and increased her career goals total to 34. Only Lisa Grubb’s 35 goals are in front of her.
- Collison left the game in the 64th minute after getting her knee “tweaked” in the box.
- Caitlin Colfer leads all current Buckeyes with 11 career assists. Her pass that lead to Laura Roberts’ second career goal was her second assist this season.
- Ten different Buckeyes have now scored goals this season.
- Ohio State is 4-2-2 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in 2008.
- The Buckeyes are also 3-0-1 this season when they outshoot their opponents and 3-1-0 when leading at halftime.
- The two-goal first half was the third such half in Ohio State’s current winning streak. The Buckeyes also scored twice in the first half in wins over Evansville and Wright State.