After splitting the first two matches away from Columbus, the No. 21 Ohio State women’s soccer team continues its road trip with a pair of matches against Central Michigan and St. John’s at the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind.
The Buckeyes are 4-1-1 so far this season, and saw its school-record 15-match unbeaten streak end last Thursday in a 1-0 loss at Boston College. However, the Buckeyes rebounded with a 4-1 win against Northeastern Sunday.
Despite Sunday’s win, coach Lori Walker is still looking for more out of her team, including a complete and mistake-free match.
“We have yet to play a complete game. Flashes of brilliance have not been sustained,” Walker said. “We showed character coming back from a deficit (Sunday) but our own mistakes are throwing us into a hole that we have to fight and claw out of.”
In Sunday’s win, freshman forward Nichelle Prince notched OSU’s first hat trick of the season and the 11th in program history. Prince also had an assist in the 13th minute to go along with her three goals.
Walker praised Prince, and said it helped that she came to OSU with more experience than the average freshman.
“Nichelle (Prince) is a very experienced player, she has (played) with her full national team in Canada and a youth world championship,” Walker said.
With her performance over the weekend, Prince was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week Monday, the first Buckeye to receive a weekly honor this season. Prince has four goals on the season for OSU, which is good for a three-way tie for sixth in the Big Ten. She has also been helping out her teammates, adding in four assists, tied for fifth best in the conference.
“I’m so glad to be playing with a great group of girls,” Prince said.
Although Prince has four goals for the Buckeyes, as a team, they have 11 on the year, tied for eighth most in the Big 10. Offense is a key moving forward for the Buckeyes, senior midfielder Kristin Niederhaus said.
“I think it’s going to be really important to work on keeping the ball more and combinational play … we can really work on that,” Neiderhaus said.
The first opponent for the Buckeyes in the Hoosier Classic is scheduled to be the Central Michigan Chippewas Friday at 3:30 p.m. The Chippewas head into the match with an 0-4-1 record, falling to Washington 2-0 in their most recent match.
Sunday, the Buckeyes are set face an undefeated St. John’s team that has only allowed one goal in six matches this season. Kickoff against the Red Storm is set for 11 a.m. Sunday.