Nov. 10, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 16th-ranked and fourth-seeded Ohio State women’s soccer team had its season come to a close as Oakland advanced with a 3-1 penalty kick victory after playing to a 1-1 draw in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the loss, the Buckeyes’ conclude their season with a 16-4-2 record and a Big Ten Tournament championship.

“I’m so proud of my seniors and this team,” Ohio State head coach Lori Walker said. “Soccer is a cruel game and it’s a pretty tough game to swallow when you outshoot a team 28-5. We did what we needed to win but were unable to find a second goal. It’s a tough ending to a fantastic season.”

Oakland took the 1-0 lead after a physical first half where neither team was able to create many opportunities until the final 10 minutes.

After a Tiffany Cameron header off a cross from Lauren Granberg sailed just high in the 13th minute, neither team was able to muster much in the way of chances until the 36th minute when an Ellyn Gruber shot narrowly missed wide left and a shot from the center of the box by Marisa Wolf was blocked by a an Oakland defender and cleared away.

Oakland then got on the board in the 41st minute when Julianne Boyle received a through ball from Joan Sieja and finished past Ohio State goalkeeper Jillian McVicker for the 1-0 advantage heading into the half.

Ohio State held a 7-3 advantage in shots over the first 45 minutes but the Grizzlies was up 2-1 in shots on frame.

The Buckeyes came out strong in the second half with Cameron almost knotting up the score in the 56th minute but her shot from 10 yards out on the near right wing caromed off the crossbar and out of play.

The senior then tied the score five minutes later when she finished a loose ball inside the box from six yards out. Megan Fuller played a far post corner, Granberg headed it back into the box, Gruber flicked it on and Cameron finished for her 21st goal of the season.

Less than five minutes later, Michela Paradiso almost gave the Buckeyes the lead but her shot from six yards deflected off the right post. Megan Scoliere then drilled a shot from 25 yards out but Oakland goalkeeper Shannon Coley ranged far to her left to make a diving save.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net the rest of the second half, despite the Buckeyes tallying 15 second-half shots to two for the Grizzlies, as the teams went into overtime.

Paradiso then earned an excellent opportunity in each overtime period but the Buckeyes were unable to tally the game-winner. In the 97th minute, the freshman forward tracked down a loose ball near the left post but Coley made a diving save on her shot from six yards out. In the 107th minute, Paradiso had another chance off a corner but her strike from 15 yards out narrowly missed wide left as the teams headed to penalty kicks.

Whitney Sarkis and Meghan Reynolds scored on the Grizzlies’ first two penalty kicks while Ashley Gruenbaum and Ellyn Gruber couldn’t capitalize for the Buckeyes. After three-consecutive misses, two for Oakland and one for the Buckeyes, Granberg was able to finish past Coley to extend the match but Boyle finished her ensuing kick to send the Grizzlies to the second round.

For the game, Ohio State held a 25-8 advantage in shots, including 7-3 on goal. The Buckeyes also held a 6-4 lead on corner kicks. Cameron led the Buckeyes with eight shots while Paradiso added six.

The 2012 seniors wrap up their careers as the winningest class in school history at 59. The group of Cameron, Granberg, Jessie Greenberg, Kendyl Reed and Aly Walker advanced to the NCAA Tournament all four seasons, reaching the first College Cup and earning the first Big Ten championship in program history in 2010. Cameron leaves Ohio State as the Buckeyes’ all-time leading goal scorer with 40 and tallied 96 career points, also the most in school history.