Ohio State knocks off Wisconsin soccer with 2-1 win in Madison o - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Ohio State knocks off Wisconsin soccer with 2-1 win in Madison on Sunday

Posted: Updated:

MADISON, Wis. – Despite a furious second-half rally, an early deficit proved too much for the Wisconsin women’s soccer team to climb out of in a 2-1 loss to Ohio State that eliminated the Badgers from the Big Ten tournament at the McClimon Complex on Sunday.

Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Badgers (11-6-3, 8-2-1 Big Ten) put together a commanding second-half performance to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to just one goal. But No. 2 seed Wisconsin couldn’t quite find the equalizer and No. 7 seed Ohio State was able to hang on and knock the Badgers out of the Big Ten tournament in the quarterfinal round.

It just wasn’t meant to be for the Badgers, who over the final 30 minutes alone hit the cross bar on one shot, struck the goal post on another chance and missed two other opportunities in front of net.

When asked what she said to the team after the energetic rally came up just short, UW head coach Paula Wilkins said, “There are no words at that moment. You really can’t tell them anything that’s going to make anyone feel better. I thought for the last 35 minutes we created enough chances to get an equalizer, and that’s what you want to see from your group.”

Its future uncertain, Wisconsin now waits to find out whether or not it will receive an at-large bid and get an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament.

“Moving forward, we have to go back and get healthy,” Wilkins said. “We have to prepare and hope some things fall our way and use this game for motivation if that does happen."

Wisconsin won a share of the Big Ten regular season championship, but has lost two straight games and began the season with a 3-4-3 overall record before its late-season surge.

The first half of Sunday’s game was an up-and-down performance for Wisconsin. After a few rocky minutes of play to begin, the Badgers settled in a bit and began generating some offensive chances. OSU goalkeeper Devon Kerr was rock solid in net, however, coming up with six saves in the first half alone.

The Buckeyes (11-5-3, 5-4-2) finally gave Kerr a lead to work with in the 30th minute. After a tough tackle by a UW defender in the box, Ohio State earned a penalty kick. Michela Paradiso capitalized on the opportunity, beating UW goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem left post for the score and a 1-0 lead.

With the Badgers on their heels, Ohio State was able to quickly strike again just four minutes later and extend its lead to 2-0. After a ball was played down the right sideline, Nicole Miyashiro brought the ball down into the corner and sent in a cross that found Sammy Edwards, who made a leaping header to score the Buckeyes’ second goal in 34th minute.

Down a pair of goals at halftime and knowing nothing was promised beyond Sunday, the Badgers responded with some of their best soccer of the season and put together an offensive onslaught over the final 35 minutes that nearly helped them tie the game.

In the second half alone, the Badgers outshot the Buckeyes by a 14-2 margin and earned seven corner kicks.

The work paid off for senior forward Nikki Greenhalgh, as she scored her third goal of the season and cut the Ohio State lead to 2-1 in the 71st minute. After a Kinley McNicoll corner kick landed in the box, Brianna Stelzer was able to collect the ball and touch it over to Greenhalgh in front, who then tapped it past Kerr for the goal.

Unfortunately, Greenhalgh was the only Badger that found the back of the net in the second half. Rose Lavelle had two close chances, first hitting cross bar on a shot and then sending a volley in front of net just high. Marisa Kresge also had a great chance to put home a rebound after a shot from Lavelle was saved, but then bounced out in front of net, but Kresge sent the shot high and over the net. UW also hit the right goal post on another shot in the box that came off a corner kick.

There was hope throughout the final 35 minutes for the Badgers right down to the final seconds. Wisconsin earned its ninth corner kick of the game with just over 30 seconds left, as Kresge rushed to the corner and served the ball into the box. Stelzer got her head on the ball, but her header went just wide of the near left post as the final seconds ticked off the game clock.

The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes 22-10 and won the corner kick battle 9-0.

Wisconsin now waits to see if it will earn a berth in the NCAA tournament. The tournament selection show will be streamed live by NCAA.com next Monday, Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

Powered by Frankly