By Matt Bradshaw
After a 2-1 win at Indiana to start the season, No. 8 field hockey (1-1) returned home to Trager Stadium and lost in overtime to No. 24 Ohio State (1-1). The Buckeyes defeated the Cardinals 3-2, scoring the winning goal in overtime play.
Louisville kept their opponents busy in the first half with aggressive offense. Ohio State returned the favor with an equally successful second half, recovering from a 2-0 deficit. In overtime, the Cards allowed the Buckeyes to slip through their defense for a breakaway goal.
Sophomore Mercedes Pastor got things rolling with her first goal of the 2018 season. Freshman Erica Cooper added the second goal of the game, marking her second of the season.
Louisville began the first half putting pressure on Ohio State’s side of the field. The Cardinals earned a string of corners early in match but were unable to convert.
At the 16 minute mark, Pastor recovered the ball from a failed corner opportunity and shot a rocket past the Buckeye keeper.
Less than two minutes later, Cooper received the ball and singlehandedly drove down the field for an unassisted goal.
The Cardinals kept tight control of the game for the rest of the half, maintaining a 2-0 lead. Ohio State had zero shots on goal and only one corner opportunity by halftime.
The Buckeyes returned to the field a different team, attacking the Cardinal keeper Ayeisha McFerran with their first shot on goal and two straight corners.
At the 44 minute mark, Ohio State finally capitalized on a corner opportunity with a goal. With Louisville’s lead cut to 2-1, it became a back-and-forth game as both teams fought for the win.
As the clock ran down, the Cardinals picked things up and played with a sense of urgency that was missing after halftime. Louisville had several fast break opportunities that nearly led to goals.
With less than three minutes remaining, Ohio State launched a shot that bounced past McFerran for the equalizer. The score was 2-2 as the teams headed to overtime.
Less than three minutes into overtime, Ohio State worked their way onto Louisville’s side of the field. With a cross from the right side of the field to the left post, the Buckeyes scored the winning goal for a 3-2 victory
Louisville travels to Richmond, Va. for a matchup with Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday, Sept. 1 at noon.
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Photos by Matt Bradshaw / The Louisville Cardinal