Women’s Soccer: Second-half surge lifts Buckeyes over No. 6 Penn State 3-0

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Ohio State senior forward Emma Sears (19) was named Second Team All-Big Ten in spring 2021. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor

The Ohio State women’s soccer team defeated No. 6 Penn State 3-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Sunday.

It is the first time in program history that the Buckeyes have beaten Penn State in back-to-back seasons.

The first half contained a stout defensive battle, with neither team giving an inch. Penn State controlled most of the possession and outshot the Buckeyes 10-5, but neither team was able to find the net for a scoreless half.

Head coach Lori Walker-Hock was happy with Ohio State’s defensive efforts in the first half, but she challenged the team to focus on their principles if they wanted to get the win.

“We’re defending really well in the first half, but we’re not playing our game,” Walker-Hock said. “We’ve got to find the courage to settle down, move the ball and to do the things that we’ve been training to do.”

It’s safe to say the Buckeyes heard Walker-Hock’s message loud and clear.

In the 72nd minute, the Ohio State offense came alive, sparked by a spin move and score from senior forward Kayla Fischer, the second-consecutive game in which Fischer scored and her third of the season.

Fischer was extremely active throughout the game. Time and time again she attacked wide on the outside, “dancing” on Penn State’s defense, Walker-Hock said.

“I think that’s the way that you make it the hardest on the defense,” Fischer said. “The more that you do, the more you’re running in behind them, the harder you’re making it  on them and the easier it is on you.“

Graduate midfielder Maddy Lowe tallied another score after a cross into the box from sophomore defender Sydney Jones extended the lead to 2-0 in the 76th minute. Senior forward Emma Sears officially sealed the deal in the 89th, burying a shot in the top right corner after a cross from freshman forward Ella Giannola.

For Penn State this marks its second-consecutive loss after a 2-1 defeat against Michigan State Sept. 30

The win marked the fourth-consecutive shutout for the Buckeyes. Graduate goalkeeper Kat Robinson and freshman goalkeeper Molly Pritchard combined for five saves on the day.

Ohio State is now on a three-game win streak, outscoring opponents nine to zero. The Buckeyes hope to keep things rolling at Nebraska in another Big Ten showdown Saturday at 2:05 p.m.

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