The Ohio State women’s soccer team’s NCAA Tournament run came to an end Sunday as the Buckeyes lost their Sweet 16 matchup against top-seeded Duke, 2-1, in Durham, N.C. OSU concludes its season with a 12-9-2 record.
Senior forward Paige Maxwell gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead with a left-footed finish from eight yards out in the 29th minute. It was her fifth goal of the season.
The Blue Devils tallied two second-half scores, including the game-winner in the 81st minute, to knock off the Buckeyes.
The loss brought about the end to OSU’s 2011 campaign, but not before it made some waves both in the Big Ten and in the NCAA Tournament.
OSU upset Milwaukee, 2-1, in the second round Friday to make it to the Sweet 16 for a second consecutive season. The unseeded Buckeyes also surprised No. 4-seed Tennessee with a 3-0, first-round tournament victory.
Coach Lori Walker told ohiostatebuckeyes.com that she is proud of what the team was able to achieve with a tournament berth that it didn’t even expect to receive.
“This team found a second life and made something of it,” Walker said. “We always said we wanted to advance until we met a team that is playing better than us. I hope Duke goes far and they do well. I give credit to our seniors for leading us to be here and we’ve got nothing to be disappointed about.”
With the victory against Milwaukee, the 2011 senior class now finishes with 51 wins, tied with last year’s class for the most in program history.
Walker praised the seniors following the team’s 3-0 Senior Day win against Indiana on Oct. 30.
“From top to bottom, I think they’re just some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with,” she said. “Anytime you can have nine seniors go from the beginning to the end together, it’s a testament to their strength.”
The low point of the season was a stretch from Sep. 29 to Oct. 23, in which the team lost five of its seven games, leading Walker to classify the offensive attack as being “in the crapper” following an Oct. 16 home-loss to Nebraska. It was during this slide that the Buckeyes almost let their postseason hopes slip away.
Not only did the Buckeyes make the NCAA tournament for the third-straight season, but several OSU players garnered postseason honors.
Senior defender Danielle Scoliere was named to the all-Big Ten first-team honors and to the Big Ten all-tournament team, while sophomore midfielder Danica Wu was named to the all-Big Ten second-team.
Senior defender Liz Sullivan was OSU’s Big Ten sportsmanship honoree and also joined senior goalie Katie Baumgardner on the all-district academic third-team.