With just six goals in nine games this season, the Ohio State men’s soccer team (2-5-2, 0-1-0) looks to end its scoring woes by finding the back of the net against No. 17 Louisville.
Senior forward Denio Leone says teamwork is necessary to break the two-game scoreless skid.
“We’ll really play the counter-attack and try to get numbers forward,” Leone said. “We’re going to try to attack as one unit. That is the biggest thing we’ve been working on.”
The Cardinals (6-2-0, 2-0-0 American Athletic Conference) come to Columbus riding a four-game winning streak in which they’ve outscored opponents 11-2. OSU Coach John Bluem has said he thinks he has found the recipe for success in the offensive third.
“(We’ll need) a little bit of luck, a little bit more concentration, and a little bit more effort,” Bluem said. “We’ll need some confidence that we can score.”
The Buckeyes will need to find a way to stop the high powered Louisville attack that has racked up 15 goals this season, the most in the AAC. The Cardinals defense has been solid as well allowing only five goals.
In an effort to keep the ball out of the net, OSU is looking to apply ball pressure against Lousiville.
“We won’t let men turn, won’t let them have time on the ball, and close down passing lanes,” senior defender Sage Gardner said.
Junior forward Kenny Cunningham said that despite the losing record, the Buckeyes are capable of getting back to winning ways.
“We just need to play with a little more confidence,” Cunningham said. “It’s hard to have confidence when you lose two or three in a row; but if we play with a “nothing to lose” attitude we can pull off some quality wins.”
For the Cardinals, a pair of former Buckeyes in sophomore midfielder Louie Berra and redshirt junior Santiago Vélez are set to lace up for Louisville in their return to Columbus.
The match is set to kickoff Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.