Following its 1-1 overtime draw on Tuesday against Bowling Green, the Ohio State men’s soccer team will try and build off its most effective offensive performance of the season when it travels to take on Penn State on Sunday afternoon.
The Buckeyes seemed to look like a team that can create consistent offensive pressure, despite the stat sheet indicating that they came away with just two shots on goal.
Sunday’s matchup with the Nittany Lions marks the beginning of Big Ten play for Ohio State, and the team knows that this match is not only critical for momentum on offense, but will also serve as a stepping stone for the Buckeyes’ season as a whole.
“It’s Big Ten play. So now everybody’s, you know, starting from scratch, so again it’s a time where, you know, [we can] try to put everything together in terms of heading into Big Ten play,” head coach Brian Maisonneuve said. “Penn State at Penn State is going to be a battle. I mean they’re a very good team, and to play away at their place is always a tough spot.”
Breaking a three-game scoreless drought and finding just their second goal of the season the players believe Tuesday’s draw will help them tremendously from a confidence standpoint this weekend.
“Definitely it’s going to, you know, drive us and we’re definitely looking forward to going away [to Penn State],” sophomore forward/midfielder Joshua Jackson-Ketchup said. “So now that we see it’s coming and finally, you know, clicking I think that we’re going to make some damage when we go to Penn State, and so we’re looking forward to it.”
Penn State is a team in a similar position to Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions have a new coaching staff this season and hope to build and improve throughout head coach Jeff Cook’s first season at the helm.
Also, both Ohio State and Penn State have struggled on offense in the nonconference portion of the season.
The Buckeyes have scored two goals in six games, while Penn State has managed three goals on just 12 shots on goal in its first five games.
Penn State’s leading scorer is freshman forward Jeremy Rafanello, who has scored two goals on the season.
Penn State redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Josh Levine has allowed an average of 1.17 goals per game this season while his counterpart on Sunday, redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried, allows 0.98 goals against average between the pipes for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will face Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. on Sunday.