Coming off two wins against ranked teams, the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s focus was to not fall into a trap against a supposedly weaker squad.
“If your aspirations are to go farther and compete maybe for a Big Ten championship or hopefully gain an NCAA Tournament bid, if you believe you can do that, you cannot let down against a team like Oakland,” OSU coach John Bluem said Monday.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, a let down is exactly what happened.
OSU (4-4-3, 2-1-0) fell to Oakland (3-5-1) in Rochester, Mich., by a final score of 1-0 Wednesday evening.
The Grizzlies struck in the first half when senior forward Joey Tinnion received a pass off a misplay by OSU and put it past OSU redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov for the game’s lone score. The goal was Tinnion’s second of the season.
The Buckeyes had their chances throughout the game, but were unable to get anything on the board.
OSU took 12 shots, but only two of those were shot on goal. Overall, Oakland outshot OSU, 13-12, including a 4-2 advantage in shots on the mark.
OSU’s slow day on offense came days after a six-shot-on-target, three-goal game against Michigan State last Saturday.
Oakland has now won three straight games after beginning the season with five consecutive losses and a draw.
The loss was the first for the Buckeyes against the Grizzlies in 14 all-time meetings. OSU was previously 11-0-2 in the series, including a 4-0 victory in Columbus last season.
Before the game, OSU had found itself at No. 13 in the NCAA RPI rankings on top of receiving four votes in the coaches poll coming off its two wins against ranked opponents.
The Buckeyes’ next shot to get back to their winning ways is set to come at home when they host No. 10 Indiana on Sunday. That game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.