EAST LANSING, Mich. - Ohio State had its six-game winning streak, and three-game Big Ten Conference winning streak, snapped by Michigan State Friday, 5-1, in East Lansing, Mich. The loss drops the Buckeyes’ records to 6-5-2 overall and 3-1-0 in the Big Ten. Michigan State snapped its own two-game losing streak to improve to 11-3-0 overall and 3-2-0 in the Big Ten.
This game had everything one would want in a game of soccer. There were 35 evenly distributed shots. There were nearly two handfuls of corner kicks. There was exciting play up and down the field. There was a Scarlet and Gray halftime lead.
But there was also a second half and there was simply too much Michigan State in the final 45 minutes. And specifically, there was too much Laura Heyboer. The freshman scored the Spartans’ first three goals in the half, including the tying goal just four minutes in, and clinchers in the 63rd and 67th minutes, giving her 15 goals on the season. Teammate Lauren Hill added two more late goals to produce the final margin.
“I have to congratulate Michigan State,” Ohio State coach Lori Walker said. “They played a nice game. We played well in the first half but in the second half we lost our marking and we were exposed. There were some seams that we hadn’t been allowing in the last few games that Michigan State was able to find.”
The Spartans didn’t find those seams in the first half, a terrific half of soccer with plenty of shots by both teams (17 total with Ohio State leading with nine), seven corner kicks (four by the Buckeyes) and hold-your-breath excitement every time Heyboer had the ball or was in the vicinity of the ball. Heyboer came into the game among the national leaders with 12 goals, 31 points and 34 shots, but she was held to two shots in the half.
And it was a pair of Buckeye freshmen that made the initial mark on the game, scoring a “Taylor-made” goal in the 21st minute to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Brooke Taylor and Taylor Moront entered the game in the 20th minute and 37 seconds later Ohio State led. Taylor took possession of the ball on the MSU half of the field and sent a perfect through pass along the left side of midfield that Moront reached. She took a couple steps and then fired a left-footed, low liner past MSU keeper Lindsey Wrege and into the far right corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season.
Two terrific saves by Lauren Robertson off Sarah Stern shots in the first seven minutes of the game kept the Spartans, who entered the game unbeaten at home in 2008 (and are now 8-0), from gaining the quick upper hand.
Robertson also took the perfect angle on a Heyboer threat from about 15 yards in the 10th minute, causing the shot to go wide right.
Things heated up right from the start in the second half. Robertson made another save on a Heyboer shot in the first minute, but she had to range so far from the goal to make the save that the rebound went to the top of the 18-yard box. Robertson then hustled back toward the net to make a diving save of Heyboer’s rebound attempt.
Two minutes later Heyboer sent a through ball into the box that Danielle Scoliere made a goal-saving tackle on to force a corner kick.
The Spartans kept up the pressure, though, continually sending long balls toward the Ohio State box for Heyboer to chase down. She finally converted to tie the score in the 49th minute with a left-footed blast from just inside the box that Robertson had no chance to stop. About 13 minutes later she gave the Spartans the lead for good.
Michigan State led in the final tallies with 19 shots to 17 for Ohio State. The Spartans also led, 10-8, in shots on goal. Heyboer had eight of the shots and five of the shots on goal.
Ohio State’s Paige Maxwell and Alex Burzynski each had four shots. Maxwell and Moront had two shots on goal to lead the team.
The Buckeyes will seek a weekend split when they take on Michigan at noon Sunday in Ann Arbor.
Other Notes of Interest:
- Both of Ohio State’s players from Michigan starting defender Cassie Dickerson from Kalamazoo and starting midfielder Emily Esbrook from Novi could only watch from the bench as they are both out for the season. Key reserve Caitlyn Martin, out at least six weeks with a leg injury was also on the sidelines.
- Ohio State’s two trainers are also from the state of Michigan: Kristen Bretz is from Canton and student Katie Kneisel is from Novi.
Walker Adds Five for 2016