September 19, 2019

Fischer’s Game-Winner Lifts Buckeyes over Spartans in Big Ten Opener


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team opened Big Ten play with a 1-0 victory over Michigan State on Kayla Fischer’s goal in the 77th minute Thursday night at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 3-4-1 on the year, 1-0-0 in the Big Ten, while the Spartans drop to 7-2-0, 0-1-0 in conference play.

Ohio State looks to make it four-consecutive wins when it hosts Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“You have to wipe the slate clean when you start conference play,” Lori Walker-Hock, Ohio State head coach, said. “Every Big Ten game is difficult and you have to find a way to grind through it. That’s what we did. I wouldn’t say this was the prettiest soccer I’ve ever seen, especially the last 20 minutes, but we found a way to get on the board and not give up a goal. That’s all that matters in the end.”

– In a first half in which the Buckeyes controlled the run of play, Ohio State earned the best opportunity in the 33rd minute when Kitty Jones-Black played a long ball from the right wing to Blair Cowan on the far side of the box but the left-footed volley from 10 yards narrowly missed wide left.

– After the match headed into the break scoreless, Ohio State had a pair of early second-half chances. In the 55th minute, Marissa Birzon gathered on the right side of the box, made a run parallel to the end line and tried to beat Michigan State goalkeeper Lauren Kozal near post but she was there for the save. Then in the 66th, Fischer took a chance from just outside the top of the box but her right-footed strike curled outside the left post.
– After a long-range effort from Michigan State’s Hannah Jones caromed off the top of the crossbar in the 73rd minute, Fischer gave the Buckeyes the lead in the 77th minute. The sophomore tracked down a long ball on the left wing from Olivia Petit, cut inside and curled a shot from 15 yards at the center of the box over Kozal for the 1-0 advantage.

– The Spartans then had their best chance of the match the next time down the field as Gia Wahlberg broke free on the left side of the box and tried to go near post but the Buckeyes’ Jordan Silkowitz was there for the diving save.

– Fischer’s goal was her team-high fourth of the year and eighth of her career. The goal marked her second game-winner of the season and fourth of her career.

– Ohio State goalkeepers Bailey Kolinski and Silkowitz each played 45 minutes to combine for their second shutout of the season.
– Izzy Rodriguez played the full 90 minutes once again, extending her team-best consecutive minutes played streak to 2,233. Both Rodriguez and senior Marike Mousset have played every minute of the season so far.
– The one shot on goal allowed by the Buckeyes tied for a season low. Ohio State also allowed just one shot on frame against Miami (Ohio) last Friday.

Shots: Ohio State 12, Michigan State 5
Saves: Michigan State 3, Ohio State 1
Shots on Goal: Ohio State 4, Michigan State 1
Corner Kicks: Michigan State 5, Ohio State 3

Ohio State hosts Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Match: Michigan State at Ohio State
Sept. 19, 2019
Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
8 p.m. ET
Clear and 79 degrees

Scoring Summary               1            2          F
OSU                                        0         1          1
MSU                                       0         0          0