The Ohio State men’s soccer team (7-9-1) concluded its 2017 regular season with a loss as it fell 2-0 to Wisconsin (8-4-4) Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes have now lost eight straight games after beginning the season 7-1-1 and setting the school record for consecutive opponent shutouts earlier in the season.
The Buckeyes got off to a bad start when freshman defender Will Hirschman received a red card in the 18th minute, forcing Ohio State to play a man down for the remainder of the game.
“The early red card really ruined the game for our team,” head coach John Bluem said. “I don’t think it was a deserved red card, so I’m very disappointed. I feel badly for our team because I think we were prepared to play a good game today but that early red card ruined it for us.”
With only 10 players, Ohio State struggled to maintain control of the ball. This led to the first score of the game when Wisconsin senior midfielder Mike Catalano buried the shot on the opposite post from 10 yards out in the 30th minute. He was assisted on by senior midfielder/forward Chris Mueller.
The Badgers led in first half shots 7-3, but the Buckeyes took four corner kicks, compared to Wisconsin’s two corner kicks. But the early red card took its toll on the Buckeyes.
The next goal came only 31 seconds into the second half as Catalano got back into the action when he sent a cross to senior forward Tom Barlow who fed an open Mueller for an easy eight-yard score.
“I thought we fought pretty well for the first half,” senior defender Hunter Robertson said. “I definitely thought we were going to get a goal and tie the game up but unfortunately, we gave up a pretty bad goal to start the second half and it killed our energy. From there it was cold.”
Playing the majority of the game a man down, the Buckeyes lacked the ability to push through a full Badger team and was unable to put a score on the board.
The team’s starting goalie to begin the season, sophomore Parker Siegfried, who missed the past two games due to injury, returned in the 63rd minute to replace Xavier Kennedy, who fell to 0-4-0 on the season.
With the regular season concluded, the Buckeyes will wait to hear when and where they play next Sunday evening when the seeding for the Big Ten Tournament is announced.
“The good thing about the conference tournament is it gives you a second chance,” Bluem said.“Obviously, we’ve had a disappointing end to the regular season, but now we have postseason play. If we can raise the standard of our game and if we can get some belief back in ourselves, then we’ll still have a chance at being successful this season. A second season is what’s happening and I hope our guys take that opportunity.”