Huskers Nearly Knock Off Buckeyes
Bloomington, Ind. - A corner kick from the No. 21 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (14-4-1, 8-2-1 Big Ten) in the final minute of the first half proved to be the difference on Wednesday afternoon at the Big Ten Tournament, as the Buckeyes eliminated the Nebraska soccer team (7-12-1, 4-7-0 Big Ten) by the score of 1-0. The No. 2 seed Buckeyes survived a close game with the No. 7 seeded Huskers, who were looking to pull just the fifth 7-2 upset in the 17-year history of the Big Ten Tournament.
Both teams played great defense on the afternoon, as neither team record double-digits shots, but the OSU defense was just a shade better.
The Husker defense nearly put together a perfect first half, but the Buckeyes were able to sneak a header by NU goalie Emma Stevens at 44:15 following a corner kick from Megan Fuller. After denying the Buckeyes on their first two corner kicks of the first half, Fuller put the ball right in front of the goal and Ellyn Gruber was able to connect with the ball among a host of Huskers and Buckeyes.
Nebraska got off a pair of shots in the first half and each attempt narrowly missed putting the Huskers on the board. Freshmen Katie Kraeutner and Alex Massey each came close to scoring their first postseason goal, but both attempts sailed just above the crossbar.
The Husker offense continued to be the aggressor in the second half, but OSU's stiff defense held NU at bay. Nebraska got the ball into the box on multiple occasions, but was never able to find an equalizer.
The loss ends the 2012 season for the Huskers following their first trip the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska loses just one player from the 2012 squad and will return a much more experienced team in 2013.