The battle of the two hottest teams in the Big Ten conference lived up to its expectations in an intense all-out war, but the better team of the two ended up being Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights slashed the Ohio State men’s soccer team eight-game winning streak in a 1-0 game.
The Buckeyes dropped to No. 2 in the Big Ten standings and fell to 9-5-2 on the season and 3-2-1 in Big Ten play. Rutgers moved to the top spot in the standings and improved to 10-4-1 on the season and 4-3-0 in Big Ten action.
Last season, OSU defeated the Scarlet Knights in a 4-1 victory, but the Scarlet and Gray could not pull off a repeat performance on Sunday afternoon in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Rutgers sophomore forward Jason Wright managed to score the game-winner in the final 20 minutes after a tight defensive battle.
The Scarlet and Gray had not given up a goal since October 7 nor had they trailed a team in more than 991 minutes prior to Wright’s score.
The first half of the game saw the teams struggling to feel the other out, as shots were just 2-1 in favor of Rutgers in the 18th minute.
The first good look of the first half came from OSU senior defender and co-captain Liam Doyle when he shot the ball to the near post. Doyle’s kick barely missed, leaving the game scoreless.
The Buckeyes eventually kicked it into high gear and by the 39th minute of the game, shots were 6-5 in favor of the Buckeyes.
Despite the lead in shots, OSU could not get a point on the board in the first half. However, the Buckeyes’ stout defense managed to keep Rutgers from scoring, leaving the game leveled at zero heading into the second half.
The Buckeyes came out of the gate in the second half strong.
The Scarlet and Gray found ways to break through the Scarlet Knight offense, but could not manage finish it off with a goal.
OSU junior forward Yaw Amankwa forced a turnover in the 53rd minute, but on the ensuing offensive possession, his shot missed high. Five minutes later, junior forward Danny Jensen broke through Rutgers’ backline in the 58th minute, but his shot went wide right.
With less than 20 minutes left to go in the match, shots were 14-10 in favor of the Buckeyes.
Being down in shots, the Scarlet Knights knew they had to do something if they wanted to walk away with the victory.
In the 74th minute, Wright scored on a deflection off OSU senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer, giving him his 13th goal of the season and the Scarlet Knights a 1-0 lead.
The Scarlet and Gray tried to fight back in the remaining time but could not pull out its ninth consecutive victory.
Overall, shots were 16-15 in favor of Rutgers, while the Scarlet Knights also held a 7-5 lead in corners.
Froschauer had a season-high eight saves, but fell to 9-5-2 on the season. The goal allowed was the first to get past Froschauer since Oct. 7 against Bowling Green.
The Buckeyes will next prepare to host Maryland at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.