In a rivalry game against Michigan Saturday night, the Ohio State women’s soccer team returned to Columbus with a much needed victory.
The Buckeyes edged the Michigan Wolverines 2-1, with a winning recipe that combined early scoring in both halves and strong defense and goalkeeping. OSU improved their record to 10-5-3 (4-3-3 Big Ten), while Michigan lost its third game over the last five matches, falling to 9-4-3 (5-3-2 Big Ten).
Junior forward Sammy Edwards propelled the Buckeyes to an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, corralling a loose ball inside the Michigan goalkeeper’s box, with a shot finding the back of the net.
OSU sophomore goalkeeper Devon Kerr’s strong play received praise from coach Lori Walker, as Kerr was named the player of the match for the Buckeyes. Kerr registered five total saves, including a crucial one-on-one faceoff versus Michigan’s Ani Sarkisian, who broke through the defense, taking a shot which Kerr dove to save.
Kerr’s only goal given up on the night was in the 32nd minute, where she deflected a shot and Michigan took advantage of the rebound, evening out the score at 1-1.
The Buckeyes returned from halftime with aggressive play that paid off. Senior forward Nichelle Prince scored a goal from short distance in the 53rd minute, reclaiming the lead for OSU at 2-1.
The game continued to be competitive on both sides late into the contest. The Michigan offensive attack proved a test for Kerr, but ultimately, her two crucial saves from short distance held strong for the Buckeyes. Likewise, Prince had one last late opportunity in a shot that bounced off the Michigan crossbar, nearly widening OSU’s lead to 2-1.
The Buckeyes finish the regular season at Penn State Wednesday night at 6 p.m.