Oct. 6, 2002
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team (3-7-1, 1-3-1) suffered another tough loss at the hands of a nationally-ranked opponent on Sunday as the Buckeyes dropped a hard fought 1-0 decision to No. 13 (NSCAA poll) Michigan (10-2-0, 5-1-0) in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines netted the winning score in the 33rd minute of play as UM forward Andrea Kayal netted her third goal of the season following a corner kick from the left side. Michigan defender Amy Sullivant lofted her corner kick to the opposite side of the six-yard box where Kayal headed a shot past OSU senior keeper Jen Heaney (Cincinnati, Ohio) for the 1-0 advantage.
The game would have taken a different turn early on, if not for a matter of inches, as OSU senior forward Sarah Lanham (Middletown, Ohio) chipped a shot attempt over the head of UM keeper Suzie Grech that struck the bottom slope of the cross bar and fell just in time for Grech to recover and swipe the attempt away. Lanham’s shot proved to be just centimeters away from giving the Buckeyes the early 1-0 lead.
OSU would muster another scoring attack in the second half. With less than seven minutes remaining in the match senior defender Emily Gilbert (Cincinnati, Ohio) advanced into the UM zone and sent a pass over the top of the Wolverine defense to sophomore forward Lisa Grubb (Portage, Mich.) who fed fellow forward Nicole Braman (Fr., Niwot, Colo.) for a potential scoring shot, but the Buckeyes were whistled for offside in another close call.
The Buckeye offense fell just short of notching two game-tying goals, but the OSU defense was truly the story of the match as it held maybe the best forward combination in the league in Abby Crumpton and Therese Heaton to zero shot attempts on goal. Ohio State head coach Lori Walker was very proud of her squad’s defensive effort in Sunday’s match.
“We held their two leading scorers and two of the top forwards in the conference to no shots on goal,” Walker stated. “Our back line did a great job of stopping a powerful Michigan attack. I am very pleased with our back line’s performance.”
Spearheading that back line was senior defender and co-captain Jen Miller (Centerville, Ohio). Walker expressed that Miller’s leadership was key to the OSU defensive performance.
“When Jen is asked to step up to a challenge she does,” Walker said. “We asked her to shutdown Crumpton and she was able to lead our back line to prevent that. She has shown that she enjoys stepping up to challenging responsibilities and handles the pressure of big games really well.
Lanham, who has returned this season from an ACL tear to make major contributions to the team, was moved up to the starting forward position in Sunday’s match to lead the Buckeye offense, along with Gilbert, as the pair combined for three of OSU’s six shots on goal.
Ohio State returns home next Friday for a match with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.