The Ohio State men’s soccer team is prepared to head back on the road to battle an equally hot team Wednesday night, as the Buckeyes await a showdown with Kentucky at 7 p.m. in Lexington, Kentucky.
Just like the Scarlet and Gray, which stands at 6-4-2 overall, the Wildcats are on a five-game winning streak, which makes OSU senior defender Liam Doyle expect a high-powered matchup.
“Kentucky’s a good team. They move the ball and they have willing runners,” Doyle said. “I think they’re very similar to us, which makes it such a good matchup.”
The Buckeyes are aware of the Wildcats’ style of playing and know well what the team has to do to take out Kentucky: defend.
“We’re a very strong defensive team,” senior midfielder Zach Mason said. “First and foremost, we try to make it very difficult for the opposition and when you do that to some very good opponents, they tend to get frustrated and open themselves up.”
Mason said the team will take every opportunity given to it to try to grab a win in any way possible.
Doyle also said that if the team continues to do what it is currently doing, it could beat anyone.
“It’s going to be a tough game and we’re just going to continue to do what we do,” Mason said.
The opposing team
The Wildcats are entering Wednesday’s match coming off a 4-1 victory over Evansville, extending their winning streak to five games and overall record to 7-2-1.
Sophomore forward Stefan Stojkovic leads the team with five goals and one assist on the season, followed by junior midfielder Napo Matsoso with four goals and five assists and freshman forward Xahne Reid with three goals and four assists.
Senior goalkeeper Callum Irving has played all but 11 minutes of the season and has a goals-against average of 0.78, with 22 saves overall.
Froschauer repeats Big Ten honors
OSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer has been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.
Froschauer is coming off a season-high seven-save performance against Indiana on Saturday night, which was the fourth shutout of his career. Froschauer is tied for third in the Big Ten with a total of 39 saves.
“I’ve had the luxury to step in here to be playing in front of some great goalkeepers,” Mason said. “I think that’s huge for team morale and team mentality knowing that we can rely on someone to save us when we need them.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return home to face Wisconsin at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.