A wayward corner kick that found its way into the back of the net was the difference between a three-point road win and a frustrating draw the last time the Nebraska soccer team and Ohio State squared off this season.
The Buckeyes’ Izzy Rodriguez bent a corner kick through the Huskers’ defense and in the goal to draw Ohio State even in the teams’ matchup in Columbus less than a month ago. Both sides battled for the game winner but it ultimately resulted in 1-1 draw after two overtimes and, at the time, it moved Nebraska’s unbeaten streak to seven games.
A point on the road certainly isn’t disappointing, but ahead of the Huskers’ Big Ten Tournament match with the Buckeyes in Columbus on Sunday, it was a result this Nebraska team thinks should’ve been different.
“I think we should’ve won that game,” senior Savanah Uveges said. “We just have our momentum going. Keep quick counterattacks locked down while we attack them, and at the same time we have to be sharp on defense.”
Junior midfielder Brenna Ochoa, who currently leads the Big Ten in assists, agreed with Uveges’ assessment of the Ohio State match while adding a little more assurance.
“I’m definitely not afraid of playing them again because I thought we dominated a good portion of the game, but we just let in a corner kick, unfortunately,” she said. “I think we’re pretty confident with how that last game went. Obviously we do have a different lineup against them this time, but I have all the confidence in this team, so we’re excited.”
The lineup changes Ochoa speaks of result from a couple of injuries to the Huskers’ back line. Sinclaire Miramontez, who made first team All-Big Ten, is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and Caroline Buelt has been battling a hamstring injury for most of her senior season.
Nebraska has taken a “next player up” attitude, and while the back line isn’t quite as experienced, the new faces have risen to the occasion, and the last time out the defense, with Aubrei Corder in goal, kept a clean sheet against Michigan State.
Several Huskers earned regular-season honors ahead of the postseason on Sunday. Senior Faith Carter landed on the All-Big Ten’s second team, while Uveges made the conference’s third team.
Freshman Kenzie Coons, who is also battling a leg injury, made the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team and senior Michaela Loebel earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
The Huskers will kick off in Columbus against the Buckeyes at 1 p.m. Sunday. The match will be televised on the Big Ten Network.