COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s soccer needed a strong finish to the regular season to have any hope of playing in the Big Ten Tournament, let alone the NCAA Tournament. Having just seven total points in the first seven Big Ten matches, the Buckeyes collected seven points over the final three matches to vault into the seventh seed for this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament.
One of the many players who stepped up down the stretch was freshman Sydney Jones. The Cincinnati, Ohio native has started and played in all 18 matches this season on the Buckeyes’ back line. She has played well all season and on Sunday at Northwestern, she enjoyed perhaps her best match of the year.
With the Buckeyes clinging to a 1-0 lead with less than 20 minutes to play in a must-win game, Jones calmly walked to the penalty area and knocked home a penalty kick to push the Buckeye lead to 2-0. The goal proved to be the game-winner as the Wildcats scored in the 89th minute.
Not only was that goal special because it was the first of her collegiate career and it thrust the team into the Big Ten Tournament, but it came on her birthday. Name a better way to celebrate a birthday than with a victory, alongside your teammates, in the rain, on the road.
Jones and the Buckeyes will look to keep their good play going this weekend when they head to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday and the match will be televised on BTN.