Following the season-opening weekend split against Furman and Hofstra, the Ohio State men’s soccer team returns to the pitch this weekend in Dayton where they will face off against Marshall and Milwaukee in the 2018 Dayton Classic.
The Buckeyes enter the weekend 1-1-0 on the season, dropping the opener to Furman, 2-0, before knocking off Hofstra, 1-0 on Sunday afternoon as first-year head coach Brian Maisonneuve earned his first career victory as head coach.
Now, Ohio State looks ahead to two weekend matches against Marshall and Milwaukee, two teams that also picked up wins on their opening weekends.
Ohio State kicks off the Dayton Classic with a matchup against Marshall (1-1-0). The Herd picked up a 1-0 win over Duquesne to open the season before falling to Oakland University 3-2.
Through two games, Marshall’s leading scorer is Jonas Westmeyer, a junior midfielder from Germany, who got off to a hot start to the season with a goal and two assists.
Following right behind Westmeyer are the two other players to tally a goal last weekend, sophomore forward J.P. Rylah and freshman forward Gianni Bouzoukis.
In goal for the Thundering Herd is redshirt junior Paulo Pita, a transfer from the University of Charleston, who won the 2017 Division II National Championship as the Eagles starting goaltender. Pita, a native of Brazil, carries a 1.50 goals against average into Friday’s contest.
Marshall employs a roster flooded with international talent. 15 of the 26 players on their roster are from a country other than the United States. The Herd field players from Brazil, England, France, Spain, New Zealand, Ghana and Germany.
The Buckeyes will have to contend with 2017 All-Conference USA performer, junior defender Carlos Diaz-Salcedo.
Chris Grassie is in his second season as the head coach at Marshall after successful run as the head coach at the University of Charleston for six seasons.
After their matchup with Marshall, the Buckeyes will have a day off before facing off against Milwaukee on Sunday in the conclusion of the Dayton Classic.
Milwaukee won its season opener, shutting out Western Illinois 4-0, with four players scoring goals.
Redshirt sophomore forward Alex Sykes, senior midfielder Sean Holmes, sophomore midfielder Vuk Latinovich and redshirt junior defender Josh Kaye tallied the four goals to combine with a stout defensive performance, as sophomore goalkeeper Freddie Lorenzen recorded his first shutout of the season, to lock down the victory in their first game.
Last season, senior defender Sean Reynolds received All-Horizon League First Team honors. Meanwhile, Latinovich, who was also named to the All-Horizon League second-team, Lorenzen and redshirt sophomore defender Jake Kelderman were named to the All-Conference Freshman team.
Ohio State’s offense looked much improved in its second game of the season against Hofstra, and the Buckeyes will hope they can start a trend that will last throughout the regular season.
Perhaps even more important for the Buckeyes will be the play of their defense. After shutting out Hofstra last Sunday, Ohio State will need its back line to up to the task once again against a capable Panther attack.