The Ohio State women’s soccer team looked to gain momentum against Big Ten newcomer Maryland, but ended the contest with a double overtime draw.
The majority of the first half on Saturday saw neither team gain an advantage, but things picked up late in the half when sophomore forward Nichelle Prince tracked down a pass from senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute.
OSU ended the half with a 6-3 advantage in shot and 3-1 in shots on goal. Gruber said Prince’s late goal helped build the team’s confidence for the second half.
“It definitely gave us some momentum,” she said. “We’ve been struggling to score lately so it definitely brought our energy up and we were feeling really good going into the half.”
Maryland responded in the 50th minute with a goal of its own after a cross from sophomore forward Natasha Ntone-Kouo deflected off an OSU defender and into the goal to make it a 1-1 game.
Freshman midfielder Nikki Walts had a chance to give OSU the lead less than a minute later, but a diving save from junior goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands kept the game tied. In the final minute of regulation, Maryland senior midfielder Cory Ryan hit a shot from the top of the box that redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Megan Geldernick deflected off the crossbar to send the game into overtime.
Gruber almost ended the game in the 93rd minute, but her 15-yard shot sailed over the crossbar. Prince got another chance later, but her shot missed wide left, sending the game into double overtime.
Neither team was able to get much going in the second extra period, and the contest ended in a 1-1 draw. The Buckeyes ended the game with a 13-9 lead in shots, 6-4 on goal.
Prince said after the game that some of the challenges presented by the Terrapins were handled well by the Buckeyes.
“They were playing a lot of quick long balls to the back but we were dealing with it pretty well with our press,” Prince said. “They were getting (the ball) behind us but our backline was very solid today.”
This is the second straight draw for OSU. Coach Lori Walker said she was proud of the work the Buckeyes put in and sees opportunity to learn from how they played
“We measure the effort that we put into the match and I thought that our effort was really strong,” Walker said. “Our confidence isn’t down right now, it’s actually continuing to build and we felt very good about how we played in the second half and overtime.”
OSU moves to 5-7-2 overall and 2-4-2 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes’ next game is scheduled to be against Michigan State on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich.