COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State is a perfect 10-0-0 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season after defeating 30thranked Indiana, 1-0, Friday on a goal in the 73rd minute by freshman Alex Burzynski.
The win improved Ohio State’s records to 11-6-0 overall and 5-3-0 in the Big Ten Conference. Indiana, losing for just the third time all season, is now 12-3-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the Big Ten.
The 2007 Buckeyes are the first Ohio State team to ever win its first 10 games in a season at home, although the great 2004 team that advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament went 15-0-1 (and 9-0-1 through its first 10 games) before losing at home.
“There is nothing I can say that matches the feeling of playing in Columbus in this terrific stadium of ours,” Lori Walker, Ohio State coach, said. “This is a young team. Their families are here. They sleep in their own beds. There is a comfort level playing at home.”
Burzynski’s goal was set up by senior Amanda Ball and freshman Emily Esbrook. Ball set the play in motion from the middle of the field, sending a pass over to Esbrook, who was lingering just ahead and to the left of ball. Esbrook then found Burzynski just inside of the box and to the left of the goal. Burzynski controlled the pass, took a step and fired a high, left-footed shot from a sharp angle that found the top inside of the far side of the goal. The goal was Burzynski’s team-leading fifth of the season.
“We told Emily to be more aggressive,” Walker said. “Her final pass is similar to the terrific passes that Lara Dickenmann makes, and we see Esbrook in this kind of role next season. Emily has proven to be more dangerous in the final third of the field, and to have her there with the ball today was just what we wanted.”
While neither team scored in the first half, Indiana had a terrific opportunity midway through the half. IU leading scorer Kristin Arnold fired a shot from about 30 yards out that caromed off the top of the crossbar and just over the outstretched arm of Ohio State goalkeeper Lauren Robertson.
Indiana had a second shot ricochet off the cross bar just two minutes into the second half. This one was off the foot of Chloe McKay. Fortunately, the rebound was cleared and the game played on.
Robertson earned her seventh shutout of the season by making five saves. Indiana keeper Lauren Hollandsworth made three saves. Indiana out-shot Ohio State, 14-12, while the Buckeyes led in corner kicks, 7-to-5.
Ohio State returns to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday for a game against No. 4 ranked Purdue (14-2-2 overall and 6-1-1 in the Big Ten). Ohio State will attempt to snap a three-game losing streak to the Boilermakers, who are enjoying their highest national ranking ever but will be aggressively seeking a weekend split after losing Friday at Penn State, 1-0, on a goal in the 84th minute.
Game Notes and Good Stuff:
- Lauren Robertson has moved into the Top 4 for single season shutouts by an Ohio State goalkeeper with seven. The record is nine by Emily Haynam (2004) and Amber Barnes (1998).
- Senior Amanda Ball has points in each of Ohio State’s last two wins. She scored the game-tying goal in the 84th minute in the overtime win over Minnesota last Friday. And she recorded her third assist of the season on Alex Burzynski’s game winner.
- Burzynski’s team-high fifth goal of the season was her first game-winner.
- Ohio State’s freshmen have now scored 31 of the team’s 77 points this season.
- Lori Walker on Burzynski: “We’ve been coaching Alex on that fine line of when to take another step or dribble and when to take the shot. She shot at the perfect moment tonight.”
- Lori Walker on Ball: “Amanda is like a coach on the field. She steps up when needed and she really organizes the team when she's on the field.”
- The top four teams in the Big Ten standings after games played Oct. 26: Penn State (7-1-0); Purdue (6-1-1); Indiana (5-2-1); Ohio State (5-3-0).