Morale was high for Indiana women’s soccer heading into Thursday night’s matchup against Ohio State. After a week in which the Hoosiers pulled out a 1-0 win over No. 18 Northwestern earning Indiana its highest ranking in program history, the Cream and Crimson seemed destined to continue rolling through Big Ten opponents. However, the Hoosiers' visit to Columbus ended in harsh fashion with the Buckeyes taking down Indiana 2-1.
Indiana looked in control during the game's early minutes, finding scoring chances and tallying a pair of shots on goal. However, it would be Ohio State who struck first, when junior forward Kailyn Dudukovich was gifted a goal following a defensive miscue. It was junior defender Lauren Costello, a central part of the Hoosier’s stout defense, whose touch left the ball trickling in front of the Indiana net allowing the Buckeyes to take a 1-0 lead.
The goal put Indiana in a position they had yet to be in this season — trailing. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, the deficit would grow in the 37th minute, when Ohio State’s sophomore forward Ella Giannola tapped in a score to increase the Buckeyes' lead to two.
Although Indiana outshot Ohio State 8-5 in the first half, the scoreline sat at 2-0 in favor of the Buckeyes heading into the intermission.
The Hoosiers came out firing in the second half, tacking on shot after shot, yet nothing could get past Ohio State sophomore goalkeeper Molly Pritchard. Pritchard snuffed out Indiana’s attempts, looking determined to earn a fifth shutout of the season.
In the 80th minute, those hopes were ended when senior defender Zoe Tiger headed into a corner to cut the lead to one, giving Indiana a second life with a chance to find an equalizer. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, Tiger’s goal was too little, too late, and the final whistle blew, handing Indiana its first loss of the 2023 season.
Indiana’s record now drops to 9-1-2, blemished by a loss, but still a monumental improvement from 2022’s 3-7-7 finish. The Hoosiers will look to bounce back Sunday afternoon when they welcome Minnesota to Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the match will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.