Two goals proved insufficient for both teams as the No. 16 Ohio State men’s soccer team (7-1-1, 3-0-0 Big Ten) tied Detroit Mercy (5-2-2, 2-1 Horizon) 2-2 Tuesday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The tie ends the Buckeyes’ win streak at six games and their consecutive shutout streak, which now is the all-time school record at six games. Bluem said he wasn’t overly concerned about the shutout streak coming to an end.
“Maybe we were a little too uptight about that,” Bluem said. “Well we don’t have to worry about that now. Now we start a new streak.”
The team may have avoided a loss, but Ohio State head coach John Bluem was not happy with the team’s effort.
“For me it wasn’t a good soccer game,” Bluem said. “There wasn’t really much soccer played, it was up and down, way too many fouls, I think there was 36 fouls in the game. It’s difficult to play in an environment like that. I think that’s how Detroit wanted the game to be and for us we weren’t able to control the game.”
The Buckeyes scored their two goals before the 20th minute, the first coming in the 10th minute off the foot of junior midfielder Abdi Mohamed, assisted on by forward Nate Kohl and defender Kevin Blackwood.
The next goal came eight minutes later in the 18th minutes as midfielder Brady Blackwell buried the ball in the net with assists from Kohl and forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup to give the Buckeyes the 2-0 lead.
It was during the 33rd minute when the Buckeyes started to lose their momentum as the Titans’ leading scorer Spiro Pliakos buried his seventh goal of the season, jump-starting the comeback.
The tying goal came on a rebound off goalie Parker Siegfried’s hands into the foot of forward Aleks Vushaj in the 64th minute.
Bluem took some of the responsibility for the loss of momentum, but also acknowledged that his team lacked consistency throughout the game.
“I substituted a little bit too early maybe, when we had the 2-0 lead maybe I should’ve kept that first group on the field that was playing well and see if we could push and get a third goal, so I’ll take responsibility for that,” Bluem said. “But what I think happened their team outcompeted us during stretches of the game and that hasn’t happened to us too much this year. We really have been a team that fights hard for 90 minutes and it wasn’t there tonight. It’s been a long stretch and we’ve played very well over that stretch and today we didn’t have our best game.”
The game lasted through two overtimes, but the teams managed only two shots apiece over the combined 20 minutes of play, ending the game in a tie.
Though his team saw both the win and shutout streak go by the wayside, Mohamed said a tie should not distract them from the upcoming schedule that includes Big Ten opponents in four of the next six games.
“Eventually we were going to get scored on, it’s good to do it now and see how we react to it, so we’ll be ready for October and the challenges to come ahead,” Mohamed said. “We were looking to win, keep the streak going, but now it’s time to regroup and turn our heads to Michigan State.”
The Buckeyes will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on conference opponent Michigan State Sunday at 3 p.m.