In a sea of red, the Buckeyes came forward victorious after Thursday’s match against the No. 16 Indiana Hoosiers at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Following her 300th career win against Maryland on Sunday, Ohio State head coach Lori Walker-Hock led Ohio State(6-3-2, 2-1-1 Big Ten) to another win against the Hoosiers (9-1-2, 3-1-0 Big Ten), handing them their first loss of the season.
Securing her eighth goal of the season, Buckeye junior forward Kailyn Dudukovich, assisted by returning fifth-year forward Emma Sears, kicked off the night with a shot through the Hoosier goal in the 23rd minute of the match.
“[Kailyn and Emma] are absolute polar opposites, but yet, it works so well,” Walker-Hock said. “You add Amanda Schlueter into that mix, it’s a good combination and we’re just finding our own right now. It’s a good time of the year to be doing that.”
Keeping with that theme, Sears quickly followed up with an assist to sophomore forward Ella Giannola for Ohio State’s second goal of the night, wrapping up the first half leading 2-0 against the Hoosiers.
Although the Hoosiers overpowered the Buckeyes with 10 shots to six in the first half, Ohio State’s sophomore goalkeeper Molly Pritchard did not falter under pressure. With shots from Hoosier sophomore defender Piper Coffield, junior defender Natasha Kim and Paige Webber, who is also the eighth-highest goal scorer in the nation, Indiana kept Pritchard on her toes.
“Molly plays with a lot of joy and she made a lot of athletic saves tonight. There’s a complete player there, so it’s a lot of fun to work with her,” Walker-Hock said.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Indiana’s senior defender Zoe Tiger put a last-minute shot in the Buckeyes’ goal, bringing the score up to 2-1. The Hoosiers continued to trail behind Ohio State for the remainder of the match.
“I’m really enjoying this particular team, they’re willing to do the work and they mean a lot to me, they’re working their tails off,” Walker-Hock said. “I asked them to change some things last minute tonight and they took it and were willing to run with it and obviously, it worked out really well for us.”
This marked Ohio State’s second conference win, breaking Indiana’s undefeated streak this season.
“I think the whole week leading up to the game, our game plans stick to how we’re going to win,” Sears said. “We take it one game at a time, every game presents a new challenge for us.”
The Buckeyes take their home pitch again Sunday at noon against the Illinois Fighting Illini.