The Buckeyes (6-9-3, 3-6-3) and Cornhuskers (7-9-2, 3-7-2) played to a scoreless first half on Sunday before OSU broke through with three goals in the second.
Before the barrage of goals, OSU entered halftime with a 4-1 lead in shots and 2-1 lead in shots on goal. Coach Lori Walker said the team contained the Cornhuskers’ offense through teamwork.
“Everything for us recently has just been about taking care of ourselves and not giving away opportunities for other teams to capitalize on,” Walker said. “You do that by playing together and playing as a united group.”
Things picked up in the second half when Nebraska senior forward Mayme Conroy scored the first goal of the game off an assist from junior defender Jaylyn Odermann to give Nebraska a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.
The Buckeyes responded in the 76th minute when a cross from sophomore forward Nichelle Prince allowed freshman forward Sammy Edwards to tie the game.
OSU went ahead in the 87th minute after freshman midfielder Nikki Walts nailed a 22-yard shot. The Buckeyes cemented the victory after Prince finished a breakaway into an empty net in the 90th minute to give OSU the 3-1 win.
The Buckeyes outshot Nebraska, 25-7, in the game.
Senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber said the Cornhuskers’ style of play was a challenge but OSU was able to match it.
“They were very physical and very aggressive,” Gruber said. “I think we handled that aggression very well and played physical right back.”
Walker praised the team’s ability to respond after giving up a goal in the second half.
“If anyone has had the best training in adversity this season, it’s been our squad,” Walker said. “We got down and were able to pick ourselves back up.”
The win was the first for the Buckeyes since defeating Northwestern on Sept. 28. OSU had gone 0-3-3 since that game. Prince said getting the win felt like the culmination of the stretch.
“We’ve been on a very long journey,” Prince said. “We’ve been working really hard and it’s been hard to get results, but we’ve pushed through and haven’t given up yet.”
It was a different story when the Buckeyes played Iowa on Friday.
The Hawkeyes took the early lead after senior forward Cloe Lacasse put a header in the back of the OSU net in the fifth minute.
The rest of the first half remained quiet as the Hawkeyes took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Iowa scored again, as a free kick from senior defender Melanie Pickert doubled the lead in the 80th minute.
OSU got on the board in the 86th minute after Prince converted off an assist from sophomore forward Taylor Schissler. The Buckeyes weren’t able to tie it up, giving Iowa the 2-1 win.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to play their final game of the regular season against Rutgers on Friday at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.