Coming off a season-high six goals in a senior day victory against Northwestern, the Ohio State women’s soccer team heads back on the road for two Big Ten games this weekend. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play at No. 21 Nebraska Friday afternoon and Iowa Sunday.
“(This) week’s games we just have to win,” freshman forward Nichelle Prince said. “We have to go in hard, we have to go in even harder than (last) week.”
With just three games left in the regular season, OSU currently sits at 3-3-2 in Big Ten play, good for sixth best in the conference. The Buckeyes have scored 11 goals in their past three games, compared to just 18 goals in their first 13 games. Coach Lori Walker is hoping the offense continues its run but is also making sure the defense is getting attention, too.
“Consistency is our challenge,” Walker said. “My hope is we didn’t expend all the goals left in the box (on Sunday). We’re going to continue to work on our defending and not giving away transition goals, kind of like we saw today.”
Sitting atop the Big Ten standings is OSU’s Friday opponent, Nebraska, who is 7-1 in conference play. Two Nebraska forwards, senior Jordan Jackson and freshman Jaycie Johnson, each have seven goals on the year to lead the Huskers in scoring.
“These are two tough games and two very important games,” Walker said. “Nebraska is playing extremely well, and it’s always hard to play Iowa at Iowa, so everyone counts.”
Hawkeye sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Clark has shut out seven opponents, tied for the most in the Big Ten this season.
OSU freshman midfielder Alexis Degler said for the Buckeyes to be successful, they need to keep their composure and concentrate on the task at hand.
“We really need to keep our intensity level and just celebrate the game,” Degler said. “We just really need to bring that the rest of the time, and our soccer will come with it.”
Friday’s match at Nebraska is scheduled to start at 4 p.m., and Sunday’s match at Iowa is set to kick off Sunday at 2 p.m.