Ohio State Shuts Out Michigan, 1-0, on Goal by Roberts
COLUMBUS, Ohio According to Ohio State coach Lori Walker, there could have been empty stands and this game would have been intense on the field. Fortunately, nearly 1,200 fans along with Block O, the band and Brutus Buckeye were on hand in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to witness the Buckeyes deliver a 1-0 victory over Michigan to remain unbeaten at home in 2007 at 8-0-0.
Laura Roberts, one of six freshmen in the starting lineup for Walker, made her second career start a memorable one by scoring the only goal of the game at the 57:31 mark. It was fitting that Roberts scored because she played a complete game and was the focus of considerable attention by the Wolverines, who committed 12 fouls compared with 14 by Ohio State. Each team also was whistled for three yellow cards.
“Rocket, as she is called by her teammates, is just now getting back to being completely healthy, but she is so explosive,” Walker said. “She did a nice job tracking back defensively and she is so quick and so tough to guard that Michigan tried to foul her a lot.”
Roberts’ goal was set up by Ashley Bowyer and Lara Dickenmann. Bowyer intercepted a pass at the halfway line close to the team benches and passed to Dickenmann on her right. Dickenmann sped toward the goal and delivered a nifty through pass that Roberts and sliding Michigan goalkeeper Madison Gates reached at the same time. Gates could not gather the ball and Roberts blasted it into the net from about five yards.
Ohio State goalkeeper Lauren Robertson, who came away from the game with a bruise on her right cheek courtesy of a first-half collision, came up big in the final two minutes to record her fifth shutout of the year. She first stopped Jackie Carron by diving to her right to stuff the try and less than a minute later she made a save on a Kristin Thomas drive from straight away.
A physical first half a total of 14 fouls were called ended in a scoreless tie. Michigan applied the early pressure and sent its three first half shots in the first 20 minutes of the game. It was at the 26-minute mark that a Michigan forward and Robertson collided and Robertson was on the ground for about five minutes afterward. She ended up staying in the game.
Ohio State kept the pressure on for the final 25 minutes of the first half and finished with six shots, two on goal and six corner kicks to Michigan’s none. There were no real great scoring chances, though.
As the air temperature dropped, the second half play started to heat up and both teams had some real chances to score. A recap:
Michigan had the two more great chances inside of two minutes to play, but on this night and in this stadium, the Buckeyes came away victorious.
The win improved Ohio State’s records to 8-5-0 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten Conference. Michigan is now 2-7-3 and 0-3-2 in the Big Ten. Ohio State hosts Michigan State Sunday at 1 p.m. in a game televised (on a delayed basis at 8 p.m.) by the Big Ten Network.
Game Notes and Good Stuff: