Coming off a 1-1 draw against Illinois in its last match, the Ohio State women’s soccer team is set to host undefeated Indiana.
Thursday afternoon’s match will be the second Big Ten game for the Buckeyes this season. OSU players said they notice a change in play when it comes to conference games.
“It’s just a whole different ball game. The girls are so physical, and so feisty, bigger actually, physically bigger than the other teams we play,” sophomore goalkeeper Jillian McVicker said.
McVicker and senior Rachel Middleman have split time in goal almost evenly this season. In nine games this year, The Buckeyes have only allowed six goals between them. The 0.67 goals against average is good enough for third best in the conference, tied with Iowa.
“I feel like we both compliment each other and the team really well,” McVicker said of the goalies splitting time.
Freshman forward Nichelle Prince leads the Buckeye offense this year scoring five goals while recording four assists. The 14 points for the first-year Buckeye has her tied for 10th in the Big Ten.
“She’s definitely a strong player up top, has amazing touch and super fast,” said freshman forward Lindsay Agnew of Prince. “Her presence on the field kind of calms people down, and any goal could happen any second.”
Prince, originally from Ajax, Ontario, said she is still adjusting to her role with the Buckeyes.
“It’s new coming into a new environment, but the players have been really open to helping us,” Prince said. “We have a decent start right now and a lot more games to do well.”
On offense, the Buckeyes have been working hard to improve on their ability to finish.
“We really focused on our final passes, because we have a lot of opportunities in games, but the final pass and the final shot are a little off sometimes. We’ve just been working on a lot of patterns to capitalize that,” McVicker said.
Indiana is 8-0-1 on the season, and the Hoosiers have only allowed two goals so far. Those figures, however, have not changed the practices for the Buckeyes this week.
“We usually just practice the same, and adjust a few things depending on the opponent,” Prince said.
Senior midfielder Lisa Nouanesengsy leads the Hoosiers in scoring with six goals. Indiana averages 2.33 goals a match, good for sixth best in the conference.
The match is set to begin at 3 p.m. Thursday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.