COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its only tune-up before regular season play begins next weekend, the Ohio State women’s soccer team downed Kentucky, 2-0, in an exhibition match Saturday evening at a rain-soaked Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“The defensive pressure that Kentucky put us under was great for us in terms of forcing us to play faster,” Ohio State head coach Lori Walker said. “We were able to get some solid minutes out of some young players and were able to come out in the second half, get behind their defense a couple times and finish.”
In a physical first half, each team was able to muster five shots but the Buckeyes put four of them on goal. In the 25th minute, Paige Maxwell had a beautiful volley off a long free kick from Lauren Beachy but Kentucky goalkeeper Sydney Hiance was able to make the diving save. Three minutes later, Tiffany Cameron had an opportunity of her own but Hiance made the save on her shot from the top right corner of the box.
In the early moments of the second half, the Buckeyes were able to advance the ball into the final third twice but were unable to fine the back of the net either time.
Ohio State then broke through in the 62nd minute when Granberg scored on a header from the edge of the six-yard box after Maxwell flicked on a long ball from Beachy.
The Buckeyes added an insurance goal with less than four minutes remaining when Caitlyn Martin headed in a rebound of a shot by Granberg.
For the game, the Buckeyes took 15 shots to eight for the Wildcats, placing eight on goal compared to just two for Kentucky.
The Buckeyes open the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.