The Ohio State women’s soccer team kicked off Big Ten play in losing fashion, as the Buckeyes fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers 2-1 on Thursday night.
OSU coach Lori Walker said the Buckeyes did not make the necessary adjustments they needed to throughout the game.
“I think that we came out really strong. I really liked the rhythm our team had in the first 15, 20 minutes, and then as Minnesota made adjustments to how we were playing, I don’t think that we responded and adjusted back,” Walker said. “Soccer is a game of chess, and they made a move and we didn’t counter it properly.”
The Buckeyes (5-2-1, 0-1) were quick to score in the beginning of the game when junior forward Lindsay Agnew happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Junior forward Nichelle Prince’s shot was blocked by Minnesota’s junior goalkeeper, but the ball rebounded in the direction of Agnew, who then found the back of the net to give OSU a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
Although she was able to register a goal, Agnew did not appear pleased with the Buckeyes’ performance.
“I don’t think that was our team today,” she said. “I don’t think we really locked down our system. We just got countered on a couple plays, and we just have to stick in and get physical because the Big Ten is a physical conference.”
The remainder of the first half following Agnew’s goal was quiet, and the Buckeyes headed into the locker room with a 1-0 advantage.
The Gophers were finally able to level the match in the 67th minute, when sophomore forward Sydney Squires slid a shot past OSU’s redshirt junior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker.
Just 13 minutes later, junior forward Simone Kolander put the Gophers ahead for good after she converted off her own rebound from six yards out.
For Walker, the loss to the Golden Gophers showed her one area that the Buckeyes could improve on.
“We’ve got to be able to recognize the time to keep the ball and the time to be able to stretch the field and play long,” Walker said.
OSU junior defender Bridget Skinner pointed to another area that could use improvement.
“We have to realize Big Ten is different play and they’re more aggressive so I think as long as we step up our aggressive side of the game we’ll be fine, because the rest of the pieces are pretty much together,” Skinner said.
In order to avoid starting conference play with consecutive losses, the Buckeyes will aim to correct some of the mistakes they made against Minnesota.
“We played too cute and too pretty, and we have to get a little ugly,” Walker said.
The Scarlet and Gray will host the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.