As some fans of the Ohio State women’s soccer team were still finding their seats, Purdue’s junior forward Alex Hairston scored just 31 seconds into the game.
Hairston’s goal would prove to be the only one of the match from either side as the Boilermakers defeated OSU 1-0 Sunday afternoon.
“We just kept knocking the ball backwards … and eventually there’s no other place for it to go than in the goal,” coach Lori Walker said. “It was just very sloppy and very casual on our part.”
Purdue would continue to control play for a majority of the first half, outshooting the Buckeyes 6-3 in the first 30 minutes of the match.
“We came out and we were a little too casual, and to Purdue’s credit they pressed us,” Walker said.
OSU pushed back in the final 15 minutes of the first half, but could not get a tying goal before the teams headed to the locker room.
Junior midfielder Ellyn Gruber’s header in the final minute of the half was the best chance for the Buckeyes during that time, and despite leading in shots 7-6, the Buckeyes couldn’t make a goal before heading into the break.
“We were not communicating to each other and once we stopped that up, we played better but it wasn’t enough,” sophomore goalkeeper Jillian McVicker said.
The second half start was similar to the first, as the Boilermakers pressed again, attempting four of the first five shots. McVicker stopped two of those shots, with one deflected and another wide of the mark.
OSU had three shots on goal in the final 10 minutes, but could not find the equalizer. In the 86th minute, sophomore forward Michela Paradiso had a shot from just outside the box, but was stopped on a diving save from Purdue’s redshirt-senior goalkeeper Clara Kridler, a Columbus native.
“We picked up our momentum a little bit more in that second half but we didn’t capitalize on our chances, and you can’t win games if you don’t capitalize on chances,” Gruber said.
McVicker said the Buckeyes played hard after the early goal, but hard work is not everything.
“Sometimes working hard isn’t always working smart though, so we were running around and hustling but sometimes it’s just not enough,” McVicker said.
After playing the last three games at home the Buckeyes (7-2-2, 1-1-1) are scheduled for a road game at Minnesota Friday at 8 p.m.