Tied at halftime, the Ohio State women’s soccer team created a number of chances for a go-ahead goal in the second half, including a 54th minute attempt that required a diving steal from the Louisville keeper.
But it was Louisville that capitalized with an 84th minute rocket from sophomore forward Maisie Whitsett less than a minute after Ohio State redshirt freshman goalie Jordan Silkowitz slid to save a one-on-one shot.
Ohio State (0-1) lost its opening game Thursday, falling 2-1 to Louisville (1-0) after the late-game heroics of Whitsett at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Ohio State survived early pressure from the Cardinals before responding with a handful of pushes of their own. The attacking paid off for the Buckeyes when junior forward Marissa Birzon tapped in the ball from a few yards out in the 29th minute.
Buckeye fans had to wait to celebrate as the goal was originally called offsides. After a few seconds of deliberation, however, the referees allowed the goal and Ohio State went up 1-0.
“[Sophomore forward Emaly Vatne] had a really good early cross. I got lucky, it hit off the defender and I was there to finish,” Birzon said.
Louisville quickly responded just 10 minutes later with a goal by senior forward Brooklynn Rivers off a throw-in to even the game at one goal apiece. Rivers led the Cardinals with 23 points a season ago.
The Cardinals had an excellent chance to score the go-ahead goal in the last minute of the first half that was thwarted by the Buckeye defense.
Louisville drove the ball into the center of the box on a free kick just outside the box. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz dove to parry the ball away only to have the Louisville attack fire two quick shots on the open goal. Buckeye defenders stood strong on the goal line to keep both shots out and the score level 1-1 at halftime.
“I was just trying to do anything I could to keep the ball out of the back of the net,” Silkowitz said. “Thankfully my teammates had my back and they covered for me.”
Despite the loss, Ohio State head coach Lori Walker-Hock said she was pleased with her young team’s effort in a close opening game.
“We’ll watch some film tomorrow and just keep trying to get a little bit better,” Walker-Hock said.
The loss marks Ohio State’s first in its last five games dating back to a season ago.
The Buckeyes return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sunday with a chance at their first win of the season. They take on 1-0 Missouri at 1:00 p.m.