Oct. 12, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio- The Ohio State women's soccer team's offense received a jump-start Friday night in Champaign, Ill., with the return of Lindsay Eckles (Jr., Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) to the lineup. Eckles, after sitting out four-consecutive matches with an injury, netted two goals in the second half to power the Buckeyes to a 3-1 defeat of Illinois. OSU improves to 5-7-0 overall and 2-4-0 in the Big Ten and UI, previously tied for second in the conference standings with Michigan, slipped to 6-5-0 and 4-2 in the Big Ten.
The match was scoreless in the first half until UI's Tiffani Walker netted a goal with nine minutes remaining. She passed to Christine Sinak and immediately received a pass back that she dribbled through the defense and scored past Jen Heaney (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) for the 1-0 halftime lead.
The second half belonged to the Buckeyes as Eckles scored her first goal in the match only 1:43 into the second session. Eckles gathered a pass from Lisa Grubb (Fr., Portage, Mich./Portage Central), broke free of the defense and slid a shot past Illini goalkeeper Leisha Alcia to knot the match at one. Nearly seven minutes later, Eckles tallied the gamewinner, this time on an assist from Emily Thorpe (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore). Eckles broke into the box and beat Alcia one-on-one.
OSU was not done, though, as Melanie Vierling (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Country Day) added an insurance goal with a fortunate bounce. Vierling hit her shot high but the ball deflected off the cross bar and side post before coming to rest in the net for the final score, 3-1. The Illini outshot the Buckeyes, 17-11, and had more shots on goal, 10-9, in the match. OSU's Heaney set her career-high in saves with nine and her counterpart Alcia stopped six.
The Buckeyes return to action at 2 p.m. (EDT) Sunday in Iowa City, Iowa, against the Hawkeyes. They return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, when they play host to Northwestern.
Match Summary 1 2 F Ohio State 0 3 3 Illinois 1 0 1
UI- Tiffani Walker, 36:03 (Christine Sinak)
OSU- Lindsay Eckles, 46:43 (Lisa Grubb)
OSU- Lindsay Eckles, 53:39 (Emily Thorpe)
OSU- Melanie Vierling, 63:47 (unassisted)
OSU-Heaney (90:00)- 9