STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - No. 15 Ohio State dropped a hard-fought, 2-1 decision to Penn State Sunday at Jeffrey Field.
"I think the challenge of our conference is how the rivalries run deep and how the pride of playing at home is so evident; that's why it's so hard to win on the road in the Big Ten," head coach Lori Walker said. "We recollected ourselves late in the game but we just came up short."
Opportunities were hard to come by early on and both teams just missed on their best chances. The Buckeyes came close off a corner in the 9th minute but Ashley Bowyer's shot sailed just wide left. Penn State senior forward Katie Schoepfer barely missed wide right in the 31st minute but the Nittany Lions continued to keep the pressure on.
The game remained scoreless until the 37th minute when Penn State freshman Christine Nairn curled in a shot from 25 yards out to put the Nittany Lions on top 1-0 heading into halftime. The goal broke a 423 minute scoreless streak for the Buckeyes.
Penn State held an 8-4 advantage in shots during the first 45 minutes as the Buckeyes trailed at the half for just the second time in 2009.
Chippy play was the story of the second half as two yellow cards and a red card were awarded after halftime.
The Nittany Lions extended their lead to 2-0 in the 75th minute on a penalty kick goal by Schoepfer after junior Cassie Dickerson was shown a yellow for taking her down in the box.
Just over five minutes later, the Buckeyes would get their opportunity when a foul was called in the box but the penalty kick by junior Courtney Jenkins sailed high. However, the Buckeyes would cut the Penn State lead in half in the 85th minute when freshman Lauren Granberg scored on a rebound of a shot by junior Lauren Steuer.
Steuer then put another shot on goal in the 89th minute but Penn State goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made the save to thwart the last of the Buckeye chances.
For the game, Ohio State outshot the Nittany Lions 16-13, including 12-5 in the second half, but in the end it was Penn State coming away with the victory.
The game marked the Buckeyes' first loss since August 30 against Pittsburgh. Ohio State drops to 8-2-1, 1-1-0 in the Big Ten while Penn State improves to 5-5-1, 1-1-0 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes look to rebound when they return home to host Iowa at 7:30 p.m. Friday for Buckeyes Go Pink night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.