Sept. 23, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team picked up program win No. 200, knocking off No. 22 Illinois, 2-1, Friday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“We were playing really well in the first half but we were having a bit of trouble covering their midfielders and our back line was giving up too many chances at the top of the box,” head coach Lori Walker said. “I really respect Illinois and the way they are coached, so we knew we had to defend better and also create more pressure on offense. It’s great for us to get win No. 200 and I’m proud to be able to look up in the stands and see all of our alumni here on Alumni Weekend – it makes you realize how far we’ve come as a program.”
After a back-and-forth start, Lauren Granberg, moved up top from center back before the game, gave the Buckeyes the 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. Megan Fuller played a long ball that was flicked on by Paige Maxwell and Granberg controlled with her back to goal, turned and roofed a shot from eight yards out.
The Fighting Illini then tied it in the 38th when Janelle Flaws controlled a failed clearance in the top of the box and finished from 10 yards out.
Ohio State had another great opportunity in the 42nd minute when Ellyn Gruber played a great far post cross to the head of Caitlyn Martin, but the ball was cleared away by an Illinois defender and the teams went into the break tied.
Illinois took a 7-5 shot advantage into the half, but Ohio State held a 3-2 lead on goal.
The Buckeyes almost took the lead once again in the 53rd when Liz Sullivan played a corner to the middle of the box that Maxwell headed off the left post before it was cleared by a Fighting Illini defender.
Granberg then gave the Buckeyes the lead once again in the 57th minute, beating Illinois goalkeeper Steph Panozzo with a header from six yards out off a cross from Maxwell.
Flaws came close to tying it again in the 68th on a shot from the top of the box but Buckeye goalkeeper Katie Baumgardner was able to come up with a diving save to deflect the shot wide.
The senior goalkeeper came up huge five minutes later, making back-to-back diving saves to preserve the Ohio State lead to hold off the Fighting Illini.
Illinois outshot the Buckeyes 20-9 for the game, most of those coming late in the second half. Ohio State held an 8-5 advantage in corners. Baumgardner finished with a season-high seven saves for the Buckeyes.
“Katie was tremendous tonight,” Walker added. “When it comes to goalkeepers, you need them when you need them, and she came up with a couple of big saves tonight. Easily the player of the game.”
The Buckeyes wrap up the weekend on Alumni Day against Northwestern at noon Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.