The Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-1) will welcome Lehigh to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Friday evening for what will be the first-ever matchup between the two teams.
With no past experience against the Mountain Hawks (1-1), coach John Bluem said the team will rely more heavily on scouting reports from some of the games Lehigh has played earlier this season rather than just drawing from past experience against them.
“We’re going to see what we can find out about Lehigh, see if we can get a scouting report on them from some of the teams they’ve played so far,” Bluem said. “That’s pretty much what we do for every opponent, scout them and then change out game a little bit because of strengths and weaknesses that our opponent has.”
Expectations for Lehigh heading into this season were low, as the team entered the season ranked only seventh in the Patriot League preseason poll.
“What I’ve learned from the past three years, no matter who you’re playing you can’t really think you are going to stomp all over them so hopefully we can keep the right mindset and play just as hard as we would against maryland or any top ten team,” defender Hunter Robertson said.
The Mountain Hawks pulled off a win in their first game against Rider, riding a hat trick from forward Mark Forrest to a victory, but they could not muster a goal in their second game in a 1-0 loss to George Washington.
The two stars for Lehigh pose quite the threat to the Buckeyes, but Robertson believes his team has the chance to keep the players contained if they play solid defense.
“When you have two special players like that we’re definitely going to keep an eye on them, double if we need to,” Robertson said.
Like Lehigh, the Buckeyes are also coming off a 3-0 loss to Florida International after a 1-0 opening day win over Pittsburgh.
Midfielder Brady Blackwell is not dwelling on the loss, but instead the team’s first loss as motivation.
“We’re coming off not a great result on Sunday, so we’re definitely working extra hard to get it back,” Blackwell said.
This is the third game of a four game homestand to start the season, which will end Monday when the Buckeyes host Wright State at 7 p.m.