The Ohio State women’s soccer team (5-1-0) put up a tough battle against Notre Dame (3-2-2) in a double overtime thriller at home Friday and came out victorious, defeating the Fighting Irish 2-1 in the 105th minute when Notre Dame put a goal in its own net.
The winning goal came from a failed clearance of senior forward Sammy Edwards’ shot, which spun backward and sailed into the back of the net to conclude the game.
Before the final goal, the Buckeyes’ offense continued to press, determined to take home its fourth consecutive victory.
“One of our objectives always is to win in overtime, so, obviously by putting pressure on Notre Dame resulted in an own-goal,” coach Lori Walker-Hock said, “But I thought it was a great shot by Sammy in the initial phase of it, and I think we did a nice job to continue to keep that pressure on, and the soccer Gods took care of it.”
Though Ohio State may have lucked out with the Irish’s own-goal, it didn’t discredit the talent of their opponent, or the drive and determination of their own team.
“They’re a great team, but we just came out on all cylinders tonight, I thought, and everyone was working for each other and the momentum was going our way,” senior defender Morgan Wolcott said. “We got some fluke goal in, but a goal is a goal.”
Wolcott put the Buckeyes on the board, scoring the initial goal for the team in the 14th minute. The goal was set up by a lofted corner kick from senior defender Nikki Walts and was buried by a header from Wolcott just six yards inside the post, giving the Buckeyes an early 1-0 lead.
This resulted in Wolcott’s first goal of the 2017 season, and the seventh of her career.
As the first half progressed, the Irish were able to break down the Buckeyes’ back line, which ultimately lead to a Notre Dame goal from sophomore forward Natalie Jacobs in the 39th minute.
Jacobs was able to finish the rebound from a save by junior keeper Devon Kerr and tie up the game before half time.
As the game remained a tie at the end of regulation, Walker-Hock knew adjustments were necessary as her team went into overtime.
“At halftime, we talked about how soft the goal was that we gave up, and we needed to figure out a way to make up for that,” Walker-Hock said. “I felt that there were moments in the game where we really controlled the flow, and there were other moments where Notre Dame certainly had possession for long period of time.”
In an effort to improve its performance, the team reevaluated their initial game plan and discussed what they were doing that wasn’t working, and what it needed to do help defend better and work as a team, Wolcott said.
Ohio State’s adjustments were successful in leading them to a win against a challenging non-conference opponent.
“I thought it was a very even game until late in the game where I really felt our fitness kicked in, and I felt like we had a majority of the overtime,” Walker-Hock said. “It’s an excellent Notre Dame team, and I’m super proud of how we fought through it and finished things off in overtime.”
The last time the Irish played the Buckeyes on in Columbus was on Oct. 1, 1995, when Notre Dame beat Ohio State 2-1 in overtime.
The Buckeyes are set to take on St. Joseph’s at home Sunday at 1 p.m. to conclude their non-conference run.