After dropping three straight games, the Ohio State women’s soccer team swept through a pair of weekend matchups.
OSU closed its non-conference schedule by beating Dayton (2-3-1), 4-2, on Friday, before the Buckeyes continued their success Sunday with a 3-0 win against George Mason (1-5-0) in Columbus.
With the victories, OSU improved its record to 3-3-0 entering the start of Big Ten play, scheduled for Friday.
“We needed to score a couple goals, get our confidence up and start playing some better soccer so we can be better prepared for Big Ten play,” senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber said.
The Buckeyes notched their second win of the weekend with help from sophomore defender Taylor Schissler, who recorded two goals against the Patriots.
Scoring opened in the 30th minute of Sunday’s game when Schissler beat redshirt-junior Patriot goalkeeper Briana Kottler for her first collegiate goal.
OSU stretched its lead to 2-0 later in the half when Gruber made a run from midfield to assist Schissler’s second goal of the afternoon.
For the second consecutive game, OSU carried a lead into halftime, but later, coach Lori Walker said she was unhappy with the team’s play in the final 45 minutes.
“I thought our energy was flat. We were up to do nothing,” Walker said. “I don’t know that the way we played in the second half has made us a better team.”
Walker said the lack of energy is attributable to her team’s youth. Playing without injured junior defender Marisa Wolf, OSU lacks experience on its backline.
“Usually (Wolf) is what drives us,” sophomore defender Nicole Miyashiro said. “We’ve really had to step up with communicating and going into tackles harder.”
The Buckeyes made drastic improvements to their offense over the weekend, scoring seven goals in two games after tallying just two in four previous games.
“We connected better,” Gruber said. “We weren’t trying to play so individually, we were using each other.”
OSU laid the foundation for its offensive explosion on Friday night by defeating Dayton, 4-2. Propelled by two first-half goals by freshman forward Sammy Edwards, the Buckeyes added two more goals in the second half to snap their three-game losing streak.
The Flyers were unable to erase OSU’s 2-1 halftime advantage, despite earning eight of their nine corners in the second half.
Freshman midfielder Sydney Dudley made it 3-1 for the Buckeyes in the 62nd minute before Edwards completed her hat trick in the 76th minute to make it 4-2.
Edwards and Dudley recorded their first collegiate goals in the game, while freshman midfielder Nikki Walts played the full 90 minutes and effectively held Dayton’s leading scorer, junior midfielder Nicole Waters, without a shot.
OSU redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Megan Geldernick finished the weekend with two saves and two goals against.
OSU is scheduled to open Big Ten play this weekend on the road against Indiana and Purdue. The Buckeyes are set to play the Hoosiers on Friday at 7 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind., and the Boilermakers on Sunday at 3 p.m. in West Lafayette, Ind.