Ohio State concluded its opening weekend at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with an upsetting loss against University of Alabama-Birmingham Sunday, wrapping up the annual Wolstein Classic.
The Buckeyes (1-1) started Sunday’s game picking up right where they left off, but suddenly they found themselves in a frustrating, physical battle with UAB (1-1). The Buckeyes dominated the possession game but failed to convert their chances, ultimately leading to a 2-1 overtime loss to UAB.
The Blazers earned victory just one minute into the overtime period off the foot of senior forward Brooks Rice.
The Buckeyes had 19 shots throughout the entire game, but they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities and head coach Brian Maisonneuve said that the team had to be crisper.
“The first half, we did some good stuff but we didn’t play with that conviction that we need. It was just a little bit lackadaisical,” Maisonneuve said. “I thought the second half was better, we had 12-2 in shots in the second half and we got to finish those.”
The game witnessed 27 fouls committed including two yellow cards, resulting in a red card on Ohio State sophomore midfielder Laurence Wootton.
“It’s a game of soccer so it’s going to be physical, I didn’t think it was overly physical and the red card is about as unlucky as you can get,” Maisonneuve said. “It’s unfortunate but it happens, even playing a man down we felt confident we could get the job done.”
In the eighth minute, a foul was committed by UAB, giving the Buckeyes a free-kick just outside the box on the right side of the field. Wootton whipped in a cross which eventually found senior midfielder Luke Kiley’s foot, leading to the Buckeyes’ first goal.
“It was from a wide set piece and I just beat my marker,” Kiley said. “I got to the back post where I was supposed to go and the ball just landed on my foot. It was a great ball by Laurence.”
Kiley said that the Buckeyes see and practice set-pieces every week so it was no shock to him when the opportunity came his way.
“I think we are pretty confident,” Kiley said. “We aren’t the biggest team, but we aren’t afraid to put our head on the ball.”
A defensive error came in the 17th-minute from the Buckeyes, which ended up resulting in a goal from UAB senior forward Nathaniel St. Louis as he placed the ball past Ohio State senior keeper Noah Lawrence, tying the game up at 1-1.
Despite the difficult nature of the loss, Maisonneuve said the team will move on and learn from the defeat.
“It’s a great learning lesson, we got to step on the field every time and get it done and play with that conviction,” Maisonneuve said. “We can’t be ok in a half and pick it up in the second half. It just doesn’t work.”
The Buckeyes are back in action with their first away game of the year on Friday against Xavier at 5 p.m. streaming live on BTN+.