Ohio State women’s soccer reigns atop the Big Ten.
The No. 13 Buckeyes on Wednesday topped Indiana 2-1 to clinch the program’s first outright Big Ten championship.
The Buckeyes (14-3-1, 9-2-0 Big Ten) stormed out of the gate early with senior forward Sammy Edwards scoring in the third minute to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Just four minutes later, Edwards followed that up with a second goal, giving Ohio State a 2-0 advantage with 83 minutes still remaining in the game.
Indiana (6-9-4, 2-6-3 Big Ten) did not allow the Buckeyes to celebrate for long as the Hoosiers struck back with their first goal in the 41st minute on a collected finish by redshirt junior forward Annelie Leitner, who had recently been summoned off the bench. That goal would be the final one of the first half.
Ohio State outshot Indiana 13 to six in the first half. Both teams finished with one corner kick a piece.
The tide had turned in Indiana’s favor heading into halftime, but an experienced Ohio State offensive attack that came out punching in the opening frame of the game did not stop as the second half progressed. The Buckeyes finished the game with 24 shots on goal when the game ended compared to 11 by Indiana.
Hoosiers goalkeeper Bethany Kopel recorded eight saves, as opposed to her Buckeye counterpart Devon Kerr, who recorded four saves during the game. Edwards gave credit to her teammate, midfielder Nikki Walts, for giving her a chance to net a pair of goals by assisting on both plays.
“She’s one of those players who always gets the job done.” Edwards said. “She’s really good at spacing and knowing where to put the ball.”
Head coach Lori Walker-Hock said she was proud of the way her team played against a tough Indiana team to claim the Big Ten outright title.
“First of all, no team in the Big Ten ever rolls over, and Indiana stepped up tonight and they really fought, they fought to the end” Walker-Hock said.
Ohio State advanced to 14-3-1 in the Big Ten while Indiana fell to 6-9-4. Ohio State clinched the program’s second Big Ten Championship title and first since 2010. The Buckeyes will host Iowa Sunday at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.