Sept. 20, 2013

Columbus, Ohio
Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Ohio State 1 (6-1-2, 0-0-1 Big Ten); Illinois 1 (5-2-2, 0-0-1 Big Ten)
Attendance: 972

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against Illinois in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener Friday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the tie, the Buckeyes sit at 6-1-2 on the season, 0-0-1 in Big Ten play, while the Illini stand at 5-2-2, 0-0-1 in the conference.

“I think we had several winning moments tonight,” Ohio State head coach Lori Walker said. “We missed some open goals but I thought we did a nice job of coming back and fighting. The weather was rolling in so we put some more emphasis on coming out harder in the second half and we did a good job of that. I’m pleased with the effort but we need to be a little more accurate in and around the box.”

Illinois got on the board early when Jannelle Flaws finished from 20 yards out inside the far post off an assist from Aliina Weykamp for the 1-0 Fighting Illini advantage in the 7th minute.

The Fighting Illini tallied another quality chance in the 34th minute when Flaws possessed just outside the box and fired a shot toward the near post but Ohio State goalkeeper Rachel Middleman ranged to her right to make a diving save.

Illinois took the 1-0 lead into the half after holding a narrow 9-8 lead in shots, including 7-3 on goal, over the first 45 minutes.  

The Buckeyes notched their best opportunity of the game in the 64th minute when a Danica Wu corner got loose inside the box but Kayla Varner’s volley from six yards sailed over the crossbar as Illinois preserved the 1-0 lead.

Less than three minutes later, Nichelle Prince played a beautiful cross into the box from the right wing but Alexa Degler’s header from six yards went just over the crossbar. Ohio State continued its solid play minutes later when Prince, Ellyn Gruber and Degler worked a combination play to beat the Illini defense but Degler’s shot from eight yards narrowly missed wide right.

Ohio State then knotted the score at 1-1 in the 84th minute. Wu played a long ball to Gruber, who possessed and played a perfect through ball to Paradiso who finished far post from eight yards out.

Neither team was able to tally the game-winner over the final six minutes as the teams headed to overtime tied 1-1.

Through 90 minutes, Ohio State held a 21-14 lead in shots with Illinois on top 9-8 in shots on frame.

Ohio State had its best chance of overtime in the 97th minute when Prince was able to get her head on the ball inside the box but Illinois goalkeeper Lauren Parkin came up with a leaping save to keep it a 1-1 game and that’s where the game would end as both teams opened conference play with a draw.

For the game, Ohio State held a 23-18 lead in shots with Illinois tallying 12 shots on goal to 10 for the Buckeyes. Ohio State held a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks.

Middleman made six saves in the first half for the Buckeyes while Jillian McVicker made five while playing the final 65 minutes.

Ohio State hosts Indiana at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 on BTN before welcoming Purdue at 1 p.m. Sept. 29.