Sept. 9, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team picked up its sixth win in seven matches to start 2016 on Nichelle Prince’s 96th minute game-winner in a 2-1 overtime victory over Texas Friday evening at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes move to 6-1-0 on the season, marking the best start to a season for Ohio State since 2007, while the Longhorns fall to 3-3-0.

The game-winning Prince goal was set up when Bridget Skinner found Lindsay Agnew on the left wing and the senior forward played a cross to Prince who headed home her second goal of the match from six yards out.

“We did not play well in the first half,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “We couldn’t find a groove. We weren’t moving the ball quickly. We couldn’t get in behind them and we talked about that at halftime. For Nichelle to have two goals on her sheet and get that first one behind her is really important for us. Ugly is beautiful but we’ll take it and move forward but we did not play the way we know how to play.”

Texas took the 1-0 lead less than four minutes in. Julia Dyche played a corner into the center of the box where Morgan Murphy headed it to Alexa Adams, who finished with a header from six yards to put the Longhorns on top early.

In the 25th minute, Morgan Wolcott, who caused problems up and down the wings the whole first half, tried to sneak a through ball down the middle toward Caitlyn Patton. Patton couldn’t latch on to it but it trickled past Texas goalkeeper Paige Brown and narrowly missed inches wide right.

Jillian McVicker made two big-time saves late in the first half to keep it a one-goal contest. In the 39th minute, Cyera Hintzen found herself open to fire a shot from eight yards on the left wing but the Buckeyes’ senior made a lunging save. Two minutes later, Dyche snuck free of an Ohio State defender and struck a shot from 10 yards but McVicker again was there to make the save.

After continuing to possess since the early Texas goal with nothing to show for it, Prince evened the score in the 59th minute. Haley Walker-Robinson played a long ball toward Prince, who had snuck in behind the defense, and Prince was clipped by Brown inside the box to earn the penalty kick. The senior then converted past Brown just inside the right post to make it a 1-1 contest.

“It’s a relief to get that first goal and I’m hoping that now I have a couple that they’ll keep coming,” Prince said. “As a striker, you want to score so getting that first goal was a big weight off my shoulders.”

First, in the 87th minute, a Texas clearance fell to Nicole Miyashiro at the center of the box but the senior defender’s shot was saved off the line by Texas’ Chelsea Surpris. The clearance went straight to Bridget Skinner at the top left corner of the box but her strike sailed over the crossbar. Then, in the final minute, Texas’ Nakia Graham had a header off a corner by Emma Jett glance off the left post before it was cleared away and the match headed to overtime.

The Buckeyes moved to 2-0-1 on the year in the extra period with Prince’s game-winner over the Longhorns. Walker-Robinson gave the Buckeyes the 1-0 overtime win in the 108th minute Aug. 28 at Florida Gulf Coast. Ohio State is now 5-0-3 in overtime matches over the last two seasons and is undefeated in its last 11 overtime matches.

“Being on the road the last two weeks and playing against two quality teams has tested us but we know that one loss does not define us,” Prince said. “We know we’re a good team this year and we can go far. We had a good week of training and, although we were a little shaky early on, we pulled each other up and were able to get the win.”

Shots: Ohio State 12, Texas 11
Saves: Ohio State 3, Texas 1
Shots on Goal: Texas 4, Ohio State 3
Corner Kicks: Texas 6, Ohio State 5

– With her two goals against the Longhorns, Prince moves into a tie for ninth with Jodie Stranges on the Ohio State career goals list with 24. Prince’s 65 career points also rank ninth on the Ohio State career list.
– Ohio State improved to 21-0-1 when scoring at least two goals dating back to the start of 2014. The Buckeyes went 5-0-1 when scoring at least twice in 2014 before going a perfect 11-0-0 last season and are 5-0-0 when scoring at least twice this season.

Ohio State hosts No. 7 BYU at 7 p.m. Monday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

“We’ve been on the road for two straight weeks so we’re going to give the team some down time tomorrow to get some rest and recovery heading in to BYU,” Walker said. “We’ll come back and regroup on Sunday and hopefully come back Monday with a stronger front.”