Ohio State tops Michigan State 1-0
Nov. 4, 2005
IOWA CITY, Iowa - In Friday's final first-round game, Michigan State and Ohio State collided in another hard-fought game, the third opening day game to be decided by a single goal. The third-seeded Buckeyes were looking to avenge a one-goal loss they suffered at the hands of the Spartans less than a week ago to end their regular season schedule. They got even with a 1-0 win Friday for a trip to semifinalgame twoagainst Indiana on Saturday.
Ohio State senior Lucy Clayton distanced herself from the pack as the Big Ten goals leader when she flipped a shot off a penalty corner past Spartan goalkeeper Christina Kirkaldy in the first half. Clayton's 17th goal season put the Buckeyes ahead 1-0 in a heated match. Saskia Mueller and Yesenia Luces logged assists on the play at 22:53 in the first half.
The Spartans could not find a way to jumpstart their offense agaisnt the Buckeyes' aggressive defense. Michigan State only managed three shots during the game, a number that was no match for the Buckeyes' 15. After Clayton's shot, neither team budged, and the defensive pressure mounted.
Kirkaldy didn't let Clayton's goal shake her strategy. Instead, she made eight of her game-high nine stops from the net to keep the Spartans within striking distance.
With three minutes left in the game, Michigan State's Ashley Pernicano took a huge shot that would have leveled the match at 1-all, but junior back Jessica Gofgosky stepped in for the defensive save and salvaged the Buckeyes' lead. Gofgosky leads the Big Ten in defensive saves with five on the season. Less than a minute later, the Spartans had their only penalty corner of the game. Senior Brianna Harpstead led the play but the Spartans couldn't get a shot off.
Clayton and the Buckeyes, who beat Indiana en route to their 2001 Big Ten Tournament title, hope to make it back to the championship game for the second time in program history. The Buckeyes have made it to the semifinals in 11 of the past 12 years. They meet the Hoosiers at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.