Andy Gottesman / The Lantern
The potential for success is there for the Ohio State men’s soccer team, but with 11 newcomers from last season there are questions at almost every position.
Eighteen of the 25 players are freshmen and sophomores, but it’s the hope of coach John Bluem that competition at every position will be the ingredient for success.
“We are young, we are inexperienced and there are going to be some growing pains along the way,” Bluem said. “But we’re beginning to see what players are capable of and where they might be able to play.”
Despite all the newcomers to the team, the coaching staff has been pretty pleased. Six games into the schedule the Buckeyes stand at 3-0-3 heading into their game on Wednesday night.
At the outset of the season, the team set out to be more fit and organized than any opposing team. They planned to exert maximum effort.
The team worked on those things in the offseason. Bluem said that is the key to having a successful season.
“If you do those three things, if you’re fit, organized and you work hard, you’re going to like the results,” he said.
The offense is coming together and as OSU plays more games the underclassmen will gain more and more experience, helping to cut down the mistakes that a young team like this tends to make.
The coaching staff is also still trying to find the starting lineup and style of play they want to run this season to put them in the best position to win. But so far the Buckeyes have to feel good about themselves, considering all the unanswered questions surrounding the team.
“It’s a learning process to get good results,” Bluem said. “But at the end of the day we’re pleased.”
Something seems to be working, as the team has not lost on the season so far and their last game was a 0-0 draw to SIU Edwardsville. The Buckeyes have now gone six games without a loss, the longest stretch since the start of the 2001 season when they opened 6-0-1.
The team opened its season against Cincinnati getting a 5-1 win. The team’s other two wins included Cal State Fullerton and Butler. They also faced Gonzaga, Louisville and SIU Edwardsville, all three games ending in draws.
The Buckeyes’ next opponent will be IUPUI on Wednesday at 7 P.M in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.