The Ohio State women’s soccer team (2-0-1) cruised to its first home victory due to an aggressive offensive attack, defeating the Buffalo Bulls, 3-0. Forward Eleanor Gabriel led the scoring with two goals, along with midfielder Alyssa Baumbick who added one.
The Buckeyes controlled the game in all aspects, outshooting the Bulls, 26-5, and requiring far fewer saves, 2-12.
“Quite frankly, we came out super flat, so we were not happy with the way we started giving up three corners or four corners in the first few minutes,” coach Lori Walker-Hock said. “We really wanted to come out fast, we wanted to play with a really good rhythm, a one or two-touch rhythm.”
As part of the offensive attack, Ohio State continued to expose the back line of the Bulls (0-2), ultimately leading to Gabriel’s first goal from just eight yards out.
“I think offensively what really worked was just the rotation of a lot of players,” Gabriel said. “I think a lot of people got good minutes and I think that that helped a lot of us save our legs and be able to be fresh when we went back in and were able to open (Buffalo) up because there were so many people playing so well.”
Multiple through-balls landed in just the right spot for the Buckeyes, providing them with quality offensive touches. The overwhelming pressure put on by the Ohio State attack in the midfield frustrated the Buffalo defense, causing confusion which led to the Buckeyes’ second score.
“We pressed. We started out higher and forced them to play long which they really didn’t want to do,” Walker-Hock said. “I think we did a great job winning the first and second balls and just taking control of the game from that perspective.”
Ohio State’s defense held strong throughout the evening, surrendering only five total shots.
“I think just getting a shutout, we had a little bit of trouble, where we gave up three corners right away,” sophomore defender Marike Mousset said. “We tried to switch our mentality and get tight defensively, not let anything past us, and I think we did a good job of that.”
Mousset stressed the idea that the defense strived to work as a single unit, with one player following the other, pressuring and stifling opposing offensive attacks.
“No team is allowed to break us through; no goals against,” Mousset said.