The Ohio State men’s soccer team made school history by extending its winning streak to seven with a 2-0 shutout victory over Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon.
The Buckeyes improved to 8-4-2 overall and 3-1-1 in Big Ten play while moving up to first place in the conference, while the Badgers fell to 3-9-2 on the season and 1-2-2 in Big Ten play.
“I’m really happy for the guys, and so now to go into the record book as the team that has the longest win streak in program history is good,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “It’s a really good accomplishment for the players and I know it meant something to them today.”
After losing two key players — sophomore forward Marcus McCrary and redshirt senior forward Kenny Cunningham — because of injuries, other members of the team stepped up to the plate to triumph over Wisconsin.
OSU senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson and junior forward Christian Soldat were both instrumental to the win with a goal apiece.
“We really do come together as a team and always fight for it,” Soldat said. “If one guy is not having a great day passing or a great day attacking, everybody else pumps him up and picks up the slack until he gets in his groove. It feels great having a team that’s always behind you.”
After a rough couple of weeks, Culbertson was able to get it going for the Buckeyes when he scored the first goal of the game off an assist from junior forward Danny Jensen. Culbertson launched the ball into the back of the net in the 13th minute for his third goal of the season.
Culbertson said although it was tough in the past couple of weeks for him, it was nice to see some of his other teammates step up and form a chemistry to keep the team rolling without his contributions.
Soldat’s goal came in the second half when he knocked in a shot off the near post in the 65th minute, marking his third goal of the season. Jensen and junior forward Yaw Amankwa were credited for the assists.
“Jensen gets the ball and I’m coming through and the ball slides to Yaw. I see him staring at the goal and I know he’s hungry for a goal too,” Soldat said describing the play. “I’m just screaming in my head asking for it. Luckily, it was on his left foot so he kicks it off to me and I just have an easy placement of the ball.”
The Scarlet and Gray defense was another factor in the history-making win on Sunday. The Buckeyes’ defense was able to keep the Badgers away from the net to prevent Wisconsin from threatening for much of the afternoon. However, when Wisconsin did come close to scoring, OSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer came out with the saves to keep the clean sheet.
Froschauer had a total of three key saves on the afternoon, contributing to his fifth shutout of the season and third consecutive.
Overall, shots were 13-8 in favor of the Buckeyes, who also held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The Buckeyes, who have not lost since Sept. 11, will next look to extend the school-record winning streak to eight when they are set to host Cleveland State on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.