Photo by Pat Radigan
29′ – OSU – Edwards (4)
Story by Pat Radigan
Huskers unable to find offensive groove after two-week layoff
After illness delayed the Nebraska soccer team’s start to conference play, the Huskers were left with a queasy feeling on Friday night when Ohio State snuck out a 1-0 win at Hibner Stadium.
Ohio State converted the first real chance that came its way, and did enough to survive Nebraska’s comeback attempt to win a matchup of team’s receiving votes in this week’s United Soccer Coaches poll. Early Husker pressure gave way to a first half goal for the Buckeyes, and the chances NU did generate were dismissed by a physical OSU defense in Nebraska’s return from a 12-day layoff.
It appeared the Huskers would turn the two weeks off into an early lead, until Ohio State found a way to break through against the run of play.
Nebraska put up four shots and a corner kick in the first ten minutes. Emilee Cincotta came inches from putting Nebraska ahead in the 12th minute, but her curled effort was tipped wide after Ohio State’s Devon Kerr sprawled to stop the shot from heading into the upper corner. Brenna Ochoa took the corner quickly and played a pass to Elyse Huber, who found Sinclair Miramontez at the top of the box with space for a shot. Miramontez’ shot screamed past Kerr, who didn’t even have a chance to dive, but an Ohio State defender stopped the shot on the goal line with her stomach, and kept the game scoreless.
But NU’s momentum took a punch to the gut in the 29th minute, when Ohio State opened the scoring off of a corner kick that Nebraska was unable to clear. The ball took a few touches in the box, and was placed in the path of Ohio State’s Sammy Edwards, who slotted a shot past Aubrei Corder and into the lower corner. It was the Buckeyes’ first shot on target, and would prove to be all the offense OSU would need to escape Lincoln with the win.
Nebraska answered with immediate pressure, and nearly equalized in the few minutes after the goal, but could not convert its chances.
The Huskers’ best opportunity to equalize came just two minutes after Ohio State’s goal, when a Buckeye foul set up a chance in Nebraska’s half. Ohio State got to the ball first, but a mishit clearance knocked the ball to NU’s Savanah Uveges on the edge of the box. Uveges curled a shot over the keeper, but it hit the crossbar and bounced back into play. Husker Michaela Loebel had an open net in front of her, but the spin on the ball kept Loebel from being able to control her shot as it drifted just wide of the post.
In total, Nebraska took 13 shots in the first half including six on goal. The second half was a different story though.
Ohio State able to limit NU to five shots after the break, including just one on target. Ohio State also kept Nebraska from earning a corner kick in the second half, and survived a pair of free kicks in dangerous territory with the Huskers unable to find the finishing touch.
After dropping its Big Ten opener, Nebraska will have a chance to bounce back on Sunday, when No. 7 Penn State comes to Lincoln to wrap up the home weekend for the Huskers.