After winning its first three games at home to open to the season, the Ohio State women’s soccer team hits the road with matches in Massachusetts against Boston College and Northeastern. The No. 21 Buckeyes are currently riding a school-record 15 match unbeaten streak after playing to a scoreless tie with Arizona Sept. 1.While the Buckeyes are looking to extend their streak, freshman midfielder Alexis Degler said losing a game is not a part of team’s mindset.
“We don’t really think about losing. It’s just one step forward in the right direction for us and we are excited to continue it,” Degler said.
The Buckeyes were able to keep the unbeaten streak going against Arizona thanks to goalkeepers senior Rachel Middleman and sophomore Jillian McVicker, who kept the Wildcats from scoring as they split time in goal. Coach Lori Walker said McVicker has grown so far this season.
“She’s done a nice job, her feet are very good as well, so she’s giving us good distance and range on her kicks,” Walker said.
The strong start helped OSU move up three spots in the latest NCAA poll, but Walker still has things for her team to improve on.
“You know you’re always just trying to get a little bit better and what we’ve got to be able to do is settle a game down to play against a team that’s not playing in the same way that we like to play,” Walker said.
OSU’s first opponent on the road trip is Boston College. The Eagles are currently 2-2-0 on the season after dropping their last match at Connecticut 1-0. Junior forward Stephanie McCaffrey is leading Boston College offensively this season with two goals and five assists through four games. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.
McVicker’s shutout last Sunday was her third appearance in goal so far this year without allowing a goal, and it was Middleman’s first. McVicker said splitting time with Middleman has been beneficial to the team.
“Playing with (Middleman) is great. In training, we push each other all the time and we complement each other very well and push each other to our limits and strive to make each other better for the betterment of the team,” McVicker said.
The Buckeyes defense has only given up three goals through the first four matches and have not allowed a goal in their last 269 minutes on the field.
“It’s something that we pride ourselves on, and if we aren’t playing our best soccer we have to hustle,” senior midfielder Kristin Niederhaus said. “I think at the end of the day (defense) is what wins games for us.”
After playing Boston College Thursday, the Buckeyes take on Northeastern Sunday, who is 0-3-1 in 2013. These two teams met last year on Aug. 24 when Ohio State defeated the Huskies 3-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.