St. Paul, Minn. - The University of Minnesota soccer team lost a very tough, hard fought game this afternoon (Oct. 18), dropping a 1-0 decision to Ohio State.
Ohio State (11-2-2, 4-1-1) came into today's game carrying a No. 19 national ranking, marking the second ranked team that Minnesota (10-4-2, 3-2-1) has played in their last three matches. The Buckeyes showed their worth early on, outshooting the Golden Gophers 6-to-1 in the first period.
In what became a defensive battle, the Buckeyes found a way to break through, 15 minutes into the second half. After a Minnesota foul in the corner of the field, Ohio State set up for the free kick, sending the ball into a crowd of players in front of net and Gopher goalkeeper Cat Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.).
The bouncing ball was sent from the Buckeyes' Caitlyn Martin to teammate Ashley Bowyer who snuck it into the back of the net for what became the deciding score.
The Gophers had a close call to tie the game just over 10 minutes later on a similar play. Minnesota had a corner kick set up and Katie Bethke (Eau Claire, Wis.) rifled the ball into the awaiting Gopher offense. As the kick landed amidst the players, two quick passes put the ball at the feet of Olivia Bagnall (Lakeville, Minn.). Bagnall's shot beat the Buckeye goalkeeper but proved to be just too high, bouncing off the crossbar and back into play, allowing Ohio State to clear it out.
That would be the best opportunity the Gophers had left as they were unable to get a shot on goal for the remainder of the match. Each defense was imposing in the second half, though, and the Minnesota back three of Jennie Clark (Norwalk, Iowa), Kylie Kallman (Woodbury, Minn.) and Josie Solie (Mahtomedi, Minn.) did not allow another shot on goal to Ohio State in the remainder of the half either.
In the second half the Gopher defense also held the Buckeyes without a corner kick, compared to four that were taken by Minnesota. The game ended with the two teams tied 5-to-5 in corners. Ohio State held the advantage in shots 10-to-5, on the strength of their first half performance, as shots were even in the second half at 4-to-4.
As the game wore in, the physicality of play ramped up, and the two teams combined for 20 foul calls. The Gophers were flagged with foul calls nine times, marking the most they have received since they totaled a season high 16 on Sept. 11.
The Gophers must now hit the road as they look to end their current two-game losing skid. This weekend they travel to Michigan and Michigan State on Oct. 23 and 25 respectively. Kickoff with the Wolverines is set for 2:00 p.m. (CT) moved up from the original 7:00 pm start. Game time with the Spartans is still scheduled for 11:00 a.m. (CT).
Minnesota has not lost to Michigan since the 2004 season, while Michigan State got the best of Minnesota 2-0 last season.