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Ohio State women’s soccer falls to Oakland in 1st round of NCAA Tournament

Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor

What might have been a hot streak for Ohio State’s women’s soccer team finally went cold in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

After capturing the Big Ten Tournament championship on Nov. 4, the No. 4-seeded Buckeyes (16-4-2) played 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime before losing to Oakland University on penalty kicks, 3-1, Saturday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for OSU, a feat that tied the school record set back in 2004.

Over the course of that span, the Buckeyes outscored opponents 25-5. While OSU had little trouble getting shots on the goal during Saturday’s contest, outnumbering Oakland 28-5, putting the ball in the back of the net proved a different story.

“Soccer’s a cruel game and to outshoot a team 28-5 it’s a pretty tough one to swallow,” said OSU coach Lori Walker. “We have to credit Oakland for finding a way to win.”

In the game’s shootout, Oakland managed to score on its first two kicks as redshirt senior goalkeeper Shannon Coley managed to thwart OSU’s first three attempts.

After the Golden Grizzlies missed their next two shots, the Buckeyes made their fourth kick, keeping their hopes alive.

Oakland, though, had other plans as it made its fifth and final shot to clinch the victory.

For some members of the OSU squad that started this season’s campaign 0-2, it was their final time suiting up in the Scarlet and Gray.

“I’m proud of every single girl on the roster and it’s a hell of a way to end a season. It’s unfortunate, the circumstance, but I can’t say that’s there’s any girl that I look and should have their head down,” said senior defender Lauren Granberg.

Despite OSU’s 7-3 shot advantage in the first half, junior midfielder Julianne Boyle and the Golden Grizzlies drew first blood in the 41st minute and took the 1-0 lead.

In the second half, the Buckeyes sent a barrage of 15 shots at Coley, who made four saves, but could not keep out one from OSU’s leading scorer.

Senior forward Tiffany Cameron scored her 21st goal of the season in the 60th minute thanks to an assist from Granberg and sophomore midfielder Ellyn Gruber, knotting the score up at 1-1.

Cameron led all members involved in the contest in shots on the goal with eight, three more than Oakland’s five tries.

Cameron’s goal was the first score surrendered by Oakland since an Oct. 20 loss at Fort Wayne.

With the loss the Buckeyes finish their 2012 season with a 16-4-2 mark and the program’s third Big Ten Tournament Championship.

“To end our season on a tie and loss in penalty kicks is a pretty tough ending to a pretty fantastic season,” Walker said.

Oakland will take on Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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