Sept. 4, 2011
Columbus, Ohio –
The 18th-ranked Ohio State women’s soccer team lost 3-0 to North Carolina, the nation’s top-ranked squad, Sunday evening. A crowd of 2,892 watched the action under clearing skies at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Ohio State single-match attendance record is 3,006, set vs. North Carolina in 2001.
“There were so many positives to take away from this game; our team really battled,” said Ohio State head coach Lori Walker. “They got two goals on set pieces and we really need to work on that. In this type of a game, when you’re playing No. 1, it was more about our team and seeing what we were going to get out of it.
“We played hard right to the end. Paige Maxwell was voted by her team as player of the game because of her work effort and her willingness to take charge.
“I’m just proud of how hard we played and there are so many positives to come out of this. You’re not going to play another team with this type of team speed until the NCAA tournament; that’s great experience for our squad.
“Any time that you can have your backline tested the way North Carolina attacks you and keeps running players at you, it’s a great way to teach and that’s what we want to do. We want to see North Carolina again in the NCAA tournament where we are firing on all cylinders. For this time of the year I was really proud of our fitness. We have a ton to build on for the rest of the year.”
North Carolina scored first, in the 35th minute. UNC junior Amber Brooks took a free kick from the top of the box that was deflected by an OSU defender before it rolled into the net. That was the only goal scored in the first half of play; North Carolina’s Kealia Ohai had a shot on goal in the 27th minute that drifted wide right. The Tar Heels outshot Ohio State 10-3 in the first stanza and the Buckeyes held a narrow 4-3 advantage in corners.
In the 58th minute, Ohai scored an unassisted goal on a right-footed strike from the left wing, her second score of the season. North Carolina got its third goal in the 77th minute, from Emmalie Pfankuch off a loose ball in the box; the assist was from Elizabeth Burchenal.
The Buckeyes’ first scoring opportunity came just two minutes into the game, when Paige Maxwell had a header in the box blocked directly in front of the net off a Kendyl Reed corner kick. Maxwell had another chance in the 31st minute, when UNC keeper Adelaide Gay came out to make a save off her 10-foot header on a long ball. Ohio State missed a similar opportunity in the 40th minute, when the shot went just over the net.
In the 55th minute, OSU’s Maxwell had a one-on-one shot in the box deflected by Gay, just striking the upper crossbar and bouncing away.
Ohio State, now 4-2, returns to action next Sunday, Sept. 11, hosting Ohio University at 6 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Admission is free. North Carolina is now 4-0.