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Women’s Soccer: Ohio State falls 1-0 in double-overtime to Penn State in Big Ten tournament semifinals

Ohio State senior midfielder Nikki Walts tracks a ball during the second half of the Buckeyes’ 7-0 win against Illinois at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sept. 14. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor

The No. 9 Ohio State women’s soccer team (15-4-1, 9-2-0), the top seed in the Big Ten tournament, had their conference championship dreams fall short in a 1-0 double-overtime loss to No. 15 Penn State (11-4-4, 6-2-3 Big Ten) in the Big Ten semifinal Friday in Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.

Nittany Lion midfielder Laura Freigang hit the back of the net in the 109th minute for the game’s lone goal, leading Penn State to a dramatic 1-0 victory.

Ohio State’s offense was absent nearly the entire match, only attempting four shots, none of which was on frame.

Penn State finished the game with 24 shots, nine on goal. The Nittany Lions also held a 9-0 advantage in corner kicks.

An early scoring threat by Penn State began in the eighth minute, when Freigang missed the Nittany Lions’ first  Nittany Lions’ first shot on goal  as it was saved by Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr. Penn State dominated time of possession and shots on goal with seven shots, compared to Ohio State’s zero.

That defensive slugfest continued through the second half, sending the game into overtime. After the first overtime period, the score was still tied, and the game advanced to a second overtime. Finally, Penn State got on the board with a goal in the 109th minute, ending the match.

The Buckeyes will await their next opponent as an at-large team in the NCAA tournament Monday when the field of 64 teams is announced. If Ohio State is a top-16 seed, it will host the first round at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

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