The Ohio State women’s soccer team (7-3-3, 2-2-2) tallied its first victory since Sept. 25 on Thursday evening after the Buckeyes topped the Purdue Boilermakers 3-2.
The Buckeyes were first to score when sophomore forward Sammy Edwards finished from 10 yards in the center of the box off an assist from junior forward Lindsay Agnew in just the third minute of play.
OSU came out of the gates with a lot of energy, evident by the quick score.
“I think we know we are in a tough spot in the standings right now, so we needed to come out this weekend and get two wins,” junior forward Nichelle Prince said. “So today was the first day of that and we just really bought it and everyone was on their game today.”
OSU maintained its lead for the next 10 minutes before the Boilermakers leveled the match on sophomore midfielder/forward Erika Arkans’ shot from 10 yards out.
The half continued with back and forth play with multiple opportunities for both teams to score.
OSU coach Lori Walker said she was pleased with the improvements her team made to find success in Thursday’s matchup.
“I’m really proud of the effort that they put in tonight, and it’s something that we’ve really been asking them to raise every single game, every day,” Walker said. “We’ve tried to make practices as enjoyable as possible the last week and a half, and I really think that it really started to show today.”
Senior captain midfielder Michela Paradiso scored the Buckeyes’ next goal in the 34th minute, her second goal of the season.
The Scarlet and Gray headed into halftime leading the Boilermakers 2-1, while also holding an 8-5 advantage in shots, including 5-1 on goal.
While holding the edge, the Buckeyes knew at halftime that the game was far from over.
“It’s a 90-minute game. Forty-five minutes we have given our heart and our soul, but we’ve got to come out and do that again,” Walker said. “We haven’t really done that; this is one of the first games I feel like we’ve put all the pieces together over the 90 minutes.”
Prince played an aggressive and dominant game, which earned her effusive praise from Walker.
“She has so many just special, God-given talents, and what we really try to do is encourage her to utilize them,” Walker said. “Just seeing her with a smile on her face because she’s back at her full pace, if you will, I was just really pleased with what she has been giving our team.”
The Boilermakers tied the game in the 61st minute when junior forward Maddy Williams shot from 20 yards out, deflecting off the hand of OSU freshman goalkeeper Devon Kerr and into the back of the net.
Prince said this was the Buckeyes’ time to show what they’re made of.
“It’s hard when you’re under pressure. You can either crack or step up to the plate, and I think that’s what we did,” Prince said. “We came to play today and we weren’t afraid. We just played our game and came out really hard.”
Despite giving up the tying goal, OSU did not back down.
In the 67th minute, sophomore midfielder Nikki Walts netted her fourth goal of the season after she curled a shot from 25 yards inside the right post to give the Buckeyes the lead.
With the lead in hand, OSU continued to bring pressure and intensity until the very end.
“We challenged them and basically tried to treat this like a championship game,” Walker said. “This game really matters, not that any other game doesn’t matter, but this one was a critical one.”
The Buckeyes will look to continue their winning ways on Sunday, as they are set to play host to the Maryland Terrapins at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.