For the second time in three matches, the No. 24 Ohio State women’s soccer team played into overtime, this time finishing in a scoreless draw with Arizona at the Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes were led by the play of their goalkeepers, sophomore Jillian McVicker, who had three saves, and senior Rachel Middleman, who tallied two.
“We had a really good effort out there, but sometimes we can’t go out with the win and we just couldn’t capitalize,” McVicker said. “My job back there is to be there when we mess up, so I was just doing my job.”
The Buckeyes had the best chance of the match when defender Ashley Gruenbaum had her penalty kick saved by Arizona junior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman early in the second half. OSU continued to press in the second half, outshooting the Wildcats 8-4 after the break.
“We did have some opportunities that could’ve put it away, but that’s just sometimes how soccer is,” senior midfielder Kristen Niederhaus said after the match.
Although neither team got on the board in the first half, the offensive chances were there, with the Wildcats outshooting the Buckeyes 6-5. The tempo and style of play was controlled by Arizona and did not suit the Buckeyes well, coach Lori Walker said.
“It was a very direct match on both parts, and not necessarily the type of match we like to play, and so we kind of played more into their style,” Walker said. “I think we allowed an opponent to dictate, in our house, what the rhythm of the game was going to be, and that was something you never want to allow.”
Arizona senior midfielder Jazmin Ponce had a chance with just seconds remaining to win it for the Wildcats, but McVicker deflected her shot at the crossbar, sending the game into overtime.
“It’s a really critical save in women’s soccer, probably one of the more difficult ones, and so for her to move her feet and get herself back to the bar was outstanding,” Walker said about McVicker’s save.
In the opening minute of the first overtime, OSU sophomore forward Michela Paradiso and Arizona’s Ponce each had a shot on goal, but neither could connect on a game-winner.
The last shot on goal came in the 103rd minute, as the Wildcat’s Kaufman saved a header from Niederhaus.
The Buckeyes’ next match is at Chestnut Hill, Mass., against Boston College on Thursday at 7 p.m.