After ending its last two games with draws in double overtime, the Ohio State women’s soccer team looks to focus on the task ahead instead of dwelling on the past.
“We’re working on getting our mindset right so we don’t go out on the field with a losing mentality,” freshman midfielder Sydney Dudley said. “We know that we can turn the season around but we have to start now.”
The Buckeyes are 5-7-2 overall and 2-4-2 in Big Ten play after their latest contest against Maryland and the prior one against Minnesota ended with the score tied. OSU is scheduled to return to the field Thursday afternoon against Michigan State.
Senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber said while the team wasn’t happy with the results, it has found ways to learn from them.
“We’ve played really good soccer both games even though we didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Gruber said. “We’ve taken all the positives that we’ve learned and I think we’re ready for a turning point.”
Senior forward Kayla Varner said the team has put the previous games in the past and has put its focus into becoming better during practice.
“I think we just put the result behind us and we had a really good practice this week,” Varner said. “We’ve had some of our best soccer played at practice, so we’re moving forward.”
Dudley said the team has been working on its defense this week in preparation for the Spartans. Dudley also acknowledged that closing in on opportunities while on offense is something the team wants to improve on.
“We’ve tightened up our defense a lot and we’re cutting back on the mistakes we’ve been making,” Dudley said. “Our attack has gotten better but we still need to work on finishing.”
Another problem that the Buckeyes could be looking to fix is limiting the number of mental errors on the field such as turnovers and deflected balls turning into goals for the other team. Gruber said the team can’t let fatigue distract them from the game.
“You can’t take a break for a second,” Gruber said. “That helps by connecting with your teammates and knowing you’re not alone if you’re getting tired.”
With an away record of 1-5-1, the Buckeyes are looking to make a change when they visit the Spartans.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on in East Lansing, Mich. After the game, OSU is set to make the short trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a matchup with Michigan on Sunday at 2 p.m.