Junior Jordan Hilbrands had one of Illinois' two shots on goal against Ohio State (photo by Cary Frye).
Oct. 22, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois soccer team fell 3-0 to No. 19 Ohio State on Thursday evening on a rainy night at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Buckeyes (12-2-2, 5-1-1 Big Ten) showed why they are in first place in the Big Ten standings, finishing their offensive chances.
"We lost the physical battle in the first half," Illini head coach Janet Rayfield said. "They were able to hold us off, win balls and get to balls quicker than we did. On a night like this, if you can hold someone off and get your toe on the ball, things happen. I don't think energy or effort was an issue tonight. When we got the ball we did some good things, but it seemed like every time we got into a physical battle Ohio State came out with the ball. As a result they won the game."
All three Buckeyes' goals were accounted for by freshman Tiffany Cameron and junior Lauren Steuer, as each had four points in the match. Ohio State controlled the first half, out-shooting the Illini 10-1 and owning a 6-1 advantage on corner kicks. After relentless OSU pressure, Cameron scored in the 33rd as her shot deflected off the Illini defense and into the goal. The Buckeyes took a 2-0 lead into halftime when Steuer finished a pass from Cameron inside the box. Illinois' lone shot in the half came on a header by Jackie Santacaterina after a corner kick.
Illinois (6-6-3, 1-3-2) picked up its play in the second half, playing with the wind and creating its own chances on goal. Junior Christina Sahly just missed in the opening minutes of the second, sending a shot inches wide after a cross from freshman Shayla Mutz to the near post.
Then in the 67th, junior Jordan Hilbrands fired a shot on goal, forcing Ohio State keeper Lauren Robertson to make a spectacular save. Sahly got off another shot on the deflection, but her attempt was saved from going over the goal line by an Ohio State defender.
"We started to look like they did in the first half, with the weather behind us," Rayfield said. "We just could never get that first goal."
In the second half, Illinois had eight shots to Ohio State's seven as each team had two shots on goal. Ohio State's third goal of the game came in the 73rd, as Steuer finished another pass from Cameron inside the box.
Illinois will hit the road this weekend, traveling to Penn State for a match on Sunday, Oct. 25. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. CT in University Park, Pa. and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. The Nittany Lions are one win behind Ohio State in the Big Ten standings with a conference record of 4-1-1.