UT’s Alexis Tice moves the ball against Ohio State’s Kayla Varner (8) in Tuesday’s game. THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
There was a golden goal, a fallen in-state rival, and a strike of a lifetime — and it all happened on one remarkable play.
University of Toledo midfielder Geri Siudzinski blasted a 115th-minute winning goal Tuesday at Scott Park from 20 yards out to down Ohio State 1-0 in women’s soccer.
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A game filled with missed opportunities and excellent goalkeeping made it into a second extra-time period goalless. As the game looked destined for a scoreless draw, Rockets midfielder Isabella Echeverri played the ball ahead to Siudzinski, who turned, planted, and ripped a shot past Ohio State keeper Megan Geldernick and into the left side of the netting.
“I saw Isa send me the ball in and then I knew I had no pressure on my back, so I turned, and there was a gap in the defenders,” Siudzinski said. “I looked up and put the ball in front of me. I kind of side-swiped it, and put it in the back of the net.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going in.”
The Rockets (3-1-1), who have mostly freshmen and sophomores, drew with Pittsburgh on Friday and defeated Xavier on Sunday. Few — including the UT coaches — knew what to expect from the young side, but it has been almost exclusively positive so far.
Toledo goalkeeper Sam Tiongson made six saves, and nearly all of them saved a sure goal. She stopped and held a dangerous shot off a through ball in the 22nd minute, sprawled to tip a well-hit ball over the bar in the 42nd, and tipped a low shot wide in the 62nd.
With the Buckeyes (1-3) held without a goal, the Rockets then took over the run of play and looked for the winner.
“The most critical play in soccer is the next one,” UT coach Brad Evans said. “It wasn't a clean game technically, but sometimes it's about grinding.”
With three home games in five days behind them — and no losses during that stretch — the Rockets are optimistic for what might be the rest of the season.
“I think it really taught us that we really do have grit. We have grind, which has been absent that past two years,” Siudzinski said. “We just kept going as a team, and we came out on top.”