Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
Lincoln - The No. 21 Nebraska soccer team earned its sixth shutout victory of the year on Friday with a 1-0 win over Ohio State at the Nebraska Soccer Field. A header from junior Mayme Conroy on a cross from Kylie Greischar in the 25th minute was the only NU offense needed as the Huskers continue its chase toward a Big Ten title.
Nebraska (13-3-1, 8-1-0 Big Ten) is on a four-game win streak and have won 11 of its last 12 matches for its best stretch since 2000 when NU earned victories in 22 of its first 23 contests. The offense has been very consistent as of late as the Huskers have scored in 14 consecutive matches, equaling its longest streak since 2002.
The Scarlet and Cream recorded the lone goal in the 25th minute of action when Greischar connected on a long pass from the right side to an awaiting Conroy who headed the ball up and over the OSU keeper from 15 out. Conroy's seventh goal of the year is tied for best on the team (Jordan Jackson, Jaycie Johnson) and gave NU the 1-0 edge. Conroy notched her sixth-career game-winning score on her 22nd career tally.
The NU defense had its hands full in the second half of play as OSU put up 12 shots in the period to just a pair for the Huskers. Seniors Maritza Hayes, Ari Romero and Greischar each played the entire 90 minutes to fend off the Buckeye attack and preserve the NU victory on home turf. NU senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens made two saves before leaving with a minor injury. Freshman Kelly Schatz entered for the final 21 minutes and showed poise on her way to making a pair of stops for the combined-shutout victory.
At the 19:52 mark, Ohio State's (9-5-3, 3-4-2 Big Ten) Michela Paradiso produced its best scoring chance of the contest when she rang one off the right post from about 20 yards out. The NU defense made the clear and prevented any further opportunities.
"It was a bit sloppy at times, but it doesn't have to be pretty," said sophomore forward Katie Kraeutner after playing 68 minutes of action. "It's just the result. Our team put in a lot of hard effort, both the starters and players coming off the bench. Everybody made a huge contribution. All credit to the team. It was a great team win."
The eight conference victories matches the 2001 Big 12 win total after a nine-win 2000 campaign in the league. NU also improves to 10-0-1 this year when scoring first on its way to an 8-1 advantage on the scoreboard in the first half of Big Ten matches. Four of NU's six shutouts have come in conference play.
OSU outshot Nebraska 18-7 for the match, while both teams managed four shots on target.
Nebraska will return to action on Sunday, Oct. 27 with a 1 p.m. matchup against No. 16 Penn State at the Nebraska Soccer Field.