The No. 25 Ohio State Men’s soccer team (6-1, 3-0 B1G) will be hosting its first ranked opponent of the year as the No. 19 Bowling Green Falcons (5-3-0) visit visit Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Buckeyes have had five consecutive shutouts, tying the school record set by the 2007 College Cup Team, shutting out Lehigh, Wright State, Northwestern, Penn State and Rutgers.
With freshman forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup (3 goals) and junior midfielder Abdi Mohamed (1 goal, 4 assists) each having six points to lead the team. Senior defender Niall Logue said he has been impressed with the production from all the young, new guys this year.
“The most surprising would be how they hit the ground going so quick, expect the freshman to make an impact, but I didn’t think we were expecting them to make such an impact,” Logue said. “Also, we have a really good core group that came back this year and a lot of us have been playing a big part, but for the freshman to start the way they’ve started has really helped us and stride us in the right direction.”
As a senior, Logue believes that it’s not only the coaches’ job, but the seniors’ job as well to help prepare the young guys on the team.
“There’s a bunch of seniors and we’ve all been around the block,” Logue said. “We just try to make a good environment for them, relax them, you don’t want to come in a stressful environment. College games are a lot different than where they were playing before.”
The Buckeyes will look to earn the school record for consecutive shutouts and continue their hot start, which is the third best in school history at 6-1-0, against the Falcons Friday.
Ohio State leads the nation in shutouts (six) and shutout percentage (.860) as the defense is holding opponents to 8.6 shots per game.
Coach John Bluem sees the similarities between his current and most successful former squad in 2007
“First of all, that ‘07 team was also built on an exceptionally good back four and that gives you the platform, if you’re in a game for 90 minutes and you’re not allowing goals, your team is in the game. And you always have cause to believe that you can win the game when you’re defending so well, allowing the other team very few opportunities to score, but that’s the main similarity,” Bluem said.
Bowling Green is coming off a competitive game against No. 1 Notre Dame in which they gave up a late goal before losing 2-1 to the Irish.
The Falcons have lost three of their last four games on a stretch where the combined records of opponents is 22-4-1. They look to wrap up the stretch with a win against the Buckeyes.