(Photo and game information courtesy Ohio State Athletic Department)
The Buckeyes opened their season Saturday evening by tossing a 1-0 shutout against Pitt in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. It appeared that this game would end the same as the earlier game that afternoon, a tie (1-1) between James Madison and Florida International. However, with :33 remaining in the match, OSU’s Michael Prosuk got the game winning goal.
The goal was a thing of beauty; Marcus McCrary was advancing the ball down the right side and drawing the attention of the Pitt defense. Prosuk was running toward goal on the left. McCrary slid the ball to Prosuk who kicked the ball into the upper center part of the goal before the Pitt goalie had a chance to react. The Buckeyes did a nice job of splitting the defense and taking advantage of it.
Before I get into a brief game narrative, I want to congratulate Ohio State goalie Parker Siegfried on a well-played game. Pitt had 16 shots and failed to score on any of them. Granted, Parker had some help from his team mates (6 blocks) and Pitt (5 shots wide of net) but his nimbleness in net kept the Buckeyes in the game until Prosuk’s goal. In particular, in a four minute stretch (67:20 – 71:30) in the 2nd period Pitt fired one shot wide and two shots on-goal that Siegfried saved.
It’s a good thing that the Buckeyes defense was stout because their offense was… intermittent. Ohio State had 6 shots on goal for the game, three in each period. Nate Kohl, pictured above, got things started with a shot at the 2:46 mark. The next shot attempt wasn’t until the 13:24 mark by Will Hirschman. The crowd had to wait a half hour until the 43:38 mark for a shot by Abdi Mohamed. In the second period, Joshua Jackson-Ketchup attempted a shot at the 45:49 mark. Forty minutes would pass until Michael Prosuk had a shot blocked at 86:23, when he would follow with his game winning shot at 89:27.
so, the one-game pattern is: a shot early in a period, lull, then burst of activity at the end of a period. The offense may not have been rapid-fire, but it was efficient.
The Buckeyes host Florida International University on Sunday evening at 7:00 pm.