Toledo junior midfielder Geri Siudzinski buried the Buckeyes with an absolute rip from just outside the 18-yard box in the 105th minute of the second overtime period as the Rockets improved to 3-1-1 on the season with the 1-0 victory over Ohio State Tuesday night at Scott Park.“I knew I had no pressure on my back, and I saw a gap in the defenders,” Siudzinski said. “I looked up, put the ball in front of me and sort of side-swiped it. Then, boom, back of the net. I knew it was going in as soon as I hit it.”
“Geri played a great game today,” UT Head Coach Brad Evans said. “She was in the zone. She closed gaps well defensively and made some runs in behind on offense. In overtime, we decided to put her in at forward because of her composure and the craft in her game. It paid big dividends.”
UT has recorded a shutout in three of its last four games, including a 1-0 win over Big East foe Xavier Sunday. Junior goalkeeper Sam Tiongson earned her third win of the season. The Carmel, Ind., native has been a solid force between the posts with 0.37 goals-against average and 15 saves, including six stops against the Buckeyes.
“Sam made some big saves today,” Evans said. “You are not going to win games if your keeper can’t make one or two key saves. I am excited for her, and I think she has gained some confidence.”
The Rockets offense was once again aggressive and up-tempo. Toledo held a 19-14 shot advantage and took 11 corner kicks in the contest. Sophomore forward Kiersten Johnson led the team with six shots while Siudzinski followed with three blasts on the night.
The Buckeyes were the aggressors early in the match, firing three shots within the first five minutes of play. Back on their heels, the Rockets were able to flip the field position in a blink of an eye and had a chance to take the early lead in the 29th minute.
Senior Kirsten Catloth found the head of classmate Meghan Topolewski on a corner kick, but the header from Topolewski was rifled right at the OSU keeper for an easy save.
Just 10 minutes later, it was Johnson with a stop-and-go move deep in Ohio State territory that freed her up for a shot on goal. The blast was on target, but Buckeye keeper Megan Geldernick once again was in position for the save.
The Buckeyes answered with a great chance of their own late in the first half. OSU’s Taylor Schissler found herself in behind the Toledo defense with a clear shot on goal, but the blast was too strong and ricocheted off the crossbar.
Ohio State picked up the pressure in the second half and nearly took the lead on multiple occasions, but Tiongson stood tall and made save after save to shutdown the Buckeye attack.
“This win was a total team effort,” Siudzinski said. “We knew we just had to keep grinding. Our backs were great, our midfielders kept us together, and I just happen to get the game-winning goal.”
Toledo has played three games in a five-day stretch but will need to recover quickly for a contest with Michigan Friday, Sept. 5, night in Ann Arbor. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
“This stretch has taught us that we have grit and that we can grind it out,” Siudzinski said. “This win feels great, but we still have to play Michigan, Notre Dame, Dayton and then right into conference play with Western Michigan. We are hoping to do well.”