September 1, 2016

Ohio State Knocks Off No. 16 Virginia Tech, 2-1


Sept. 1, 2016

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Ohio State women’s soccer team continued its strong start to the 2016 season with a 2-1 victory over No. 16 Virginia Tech Thursday night at Thompson Field. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-0-0 on the year, marking the best start to a season since rattling off six-consecutive wins to start the 2007 campaign, while the Hokies dropped their first match of the year, falling to 4-1-0.

“We felt like we were very well-prepared coming in,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “We scouted Virginia Tech and needed to make sure our legs were back after playing two games over the weekend in the heat. Everybody on the staff has done a great job to help the team recover and put us in a situation to go out and win. The rest of the coaches and athletic trainers have been instrumental in getting us back to where we need to be this week.”

After a couple early corners and a Morgan Wolcott strike from 15 yards on the right wing that sailed just over the crossbar in the 14th minute, Lindsay Agnew put the Buckeyes ahead again on a goal in the 33rd minute. Wolcott placed a header down the middle of the field that was tracked down by Agnew, who slotted a left-footed strike from 15 yards past Hokie goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn and just inside the right post for the 1-0 lead. Ohio State has scored first in all five matches this season.

Blocked shots by Haley Walker-Robinson and Kylie Knight thwarted a pair of Hokie attacks in the first 15 minutes. Nikki Walts played a significant role dropping back from her midfield position and goalkeeper Jillian McVicker was excellent, not only stopping six Virginia Tech shots in the first half, but picking off multiple dangerous crosses in the air as Ohio State took the 1-0 lead into the half.

Despite a strong effort from the Buckeye back line, Virginia Tech almost knotted the score in the 51st minute. Megan Goudy made a run down the right wing and played a cross toward the center of the box but Lilly Weber’s header from eight yards missed just outside the left post.

Morgan Wolcott doubled the Buckeye lead in the 58th minute when she gathered on the counter-attack and slipping a right-footed shot from eight yards past McGlynn inside the right post for the 2-0 advantage.

“We’ve been preparing all week both in training and watching film,” Wolcott said. “We had a great gameplan going in, knew their system and how we wanted to play against it and it worked out well for us. We knew it’d be a grind in the second half so we responded with the second goal and then were able to deal with whatever came our way. This was a great win for us over a very good opponent.”

Six minutes after Ohio State took the two-goal lead and with Virginia Tech chasing the game, the Hokies cut the Buckeye advantage in half when Murielle Tiernan made a run parallel to the left touch line and finished past McVicker from six yards on the left wing to make it a 2-1 game.

In the 71st minute, Tiernan again broke free on the left side of the box, playing a cross toward Weber but the shot from eight yards out missed wide left.

After a Buckeye corner kick resulted in a penalty kick in the 78th minute, Walts stepped up to take the penalty but her shot just missed outside the right post as the score remained 2-1.

Sammy Edwards and Nichelle Prince found themselves free on the break in the 85th minute but McGlynn came up big to make stops on three consecutive chances in the box by the Buckeye forwards to keep it a one-goal match before the Buckeyes were able to hang on for the victory over the final five minutes.

Shots: Virginia Tech 23, Ohio State 9
Saves: Ohio State 7, Virginia Tech 5
Shots on Goal: Virginia Tech 8, Ohio State 7
Corner Kicks: Virginia Tech 12, Ohio State 6

– The game was a rematch of an NCAA second round matchup a year ago that the Buckeyes won 1-0 in University Park, Pa.
– Walts picked up her Big Ten-best fourth assist of the season in the match.
– McVicker tallied a season-best seven saves.
– The Buckeyes were able to record seven shots on frame from their nine total shots while limiting the Hokies to eight shots on goal on their 23 shots.
– The Buckeyes scored multiple goals for the fourth time this season, moving to 4-0-0 on the year when doing so. Ohio State is 20-0-1 when finding the back of the net at least twice since the start of 2014.

Walker praised the effort of Wolcott and the entire Buckeye defense as a whole Thursday night.

”Morgan played like an All-American tonight,” Walker added. “As always, she gave her heart but her versatility and flexibility were tremendous. We dropped her back late to solidify some of the battles in the air and she did a tremendous job on Murielle Tiernan, a player we’ve had such respect for over her career. The entire back line did an excellent job for us tonight. After falling behind, Virginia Tech changed its system from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 and we were able to adjust accordingly.”

Ohio State continues its road swing at No. 4 West Virginia at 6 p.m. Sunday.