Nebraska Soccer holds off Ohio State

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Nebraska soccer team played Ohio State this afternoon, winning 1-0 and moving to 8-1 in Big Ten Conference play!

First Half

The match kicked off under perfect weather conditions for Boot Cancer day at the Nebraska Soccer Field.  In the 8th minute, Nebraska has their first chance of the game when Jordan Jackson laid it off for Kylie Greischar who sent in a booming cross that was volleyed by Mayme Conroy over the bar.  Kayla Varner has the first chance for Ohio State when her shot hit the right post in the 20th minute.  Ohio State was able to use their big physical players to outmuscle and shield the ball away from some of the Husker players early on though Nebraska still maintained over 50% of the possession in the first half.

The Huskers struck first in the 25th minute.  Kylie Greischar sent in another booming cross in from the right wing and Mayme Conroy was there to nod in a header over the keeper and into the net.  Nebraska was able to counter Ohio State's physicality with Mayme Conroy who was able to create enough space for herself to comfortably head it in for her seventh goal of the season.  The Huskers were able to control more possession after the goal and create more chances with some shots on goal from Sydney Miramontez and Caroline Gray.  Ohio State was able to move in the ball more inside Nebraska territory near the end of the first half the Husker defender did an excellent job of blocking shots and heading away incoming crosses.  Nebraska went into halftime up 1-0 and managed to not allow a shot on target from Ohio State in the first half.

Second Half

Ohio State came out on a more positive note in the second half and started putting on the pressure.  Alexis Degler unleashed a low drive in the 48th minute that was well saved by Emma Stevens as she slid across to her right to make the stop and collect the ball.  Degler put the ball in the back of the net a few minutes later but it was called back since she was offside.  Things calmed down and both teams exchanged good spells of possession but didn't have any clear cut scoring chances.

In the  68th minute, the clock was stopped as Emma Stevens went down with an injury after a corner kick.  She wasn't able to continue and ended up being substituted off for true freshman Kelly Schatz a few minutes later.  Ohio State began trying some long shots to test the keeper but most of them ended up going wide or over the bar.  Ohio State began to push forward and get a flurry of scoring chances.  Leading scorer Nichelle Prince was able to drive in the box and unleash a bouncing shot in the 76th minute but Kelly Schatz made in excellent dive to her left to keep the score at 1-0.

The Huskers were able to counter a few minutes later when a cleared shot was gathered by Jordan Jackson but she scooped in just over the bar.  Ohio State pushed again in the Nebraska half and Kristen Niederhaus unleashed a shot that grazed the bar and went out for a goal kick in the 83rd minute.  Ohio State unleashed a flurry of crosses and shots at the end of the game but Nebraska stayed resolute and defended really well like they did throughout the entire match.  The Huskers held on for the 1-0 victory and now have an 8-1 conference record with two matches remaining.

Post-Game Notes

-This match was a tale of two halves.  Nebraska controlled possession for most of the first half but it was the total opposite in the second half.  Ohio State dominated possession and out-shot Nebraska 12-2 in the second half and the Huskers didn't have a shot on target in that half.  The Buckeyes out-shot Nebraska 18-7 in the game and both teams had four shots on target in the match.

-The referee played advantage a lot in this game, did not call as many fouls as I expected and did not show any cards to players when the opportunity presented itself.  This seemed to play advantage a little bit of Ohio State since they were the bigger, physical team but Nebraska made a few physical plays that weren't whistled by the referee as well.  The referee whistled for 15 fouls in the match (eight for Nebraska and seven for Ohio State).

-The Huskers all-time save leader Emma Stevens was subbed out in the 69th minute.  After the game, Stevens said she had a deep thigh bruise but mentioned she should be ready to play in Sunday's huge match against #16 Penn State.

-Sunday's match will kick off at 1:00 p.m. will be a Halloween themed Kick or Treat promotion so I am assuming there will be plenty of goodies for everyone attending the match.

Husker Softball players came out to support the Husker Soccer team today.

GO BIG RED!!!

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