There is no doubt the Ohio State men’s soccer team came out playing to win their match against Cleveland State on Friday. The opening 15 minutes provided a look at an aggressive Buckeye squad, perhaps more aggressive than it has been all season long.
They made passes they normally would not have tried to make in earlier matches. Redshirt senior midfielder Brady Blackwell split his way through two defenders in a spot where he may have elected to pull up and wait for something to develop alongside him.
However, even with the increased intensity and aggressiveness, Ohio State (1-8-2) still came up short, falling to Cleveland State (3-5-1) 2-0 on Friday night.
Ohio State head coach Brian Maisonneuve cited the fact that his team outshot Cleveland State and created more corner kicks than their opponents, yet said he was troubled by the fact that they are finding ways to lose games.
“I mean, right now, you look at the stats and I think we outshot them 10-5, we out corner kicked them 4-1 and you know right now it’s unfortunate because sometimes we’re finding ways to lose games,” Maisonneuve said.
For the next 15 minutes, the game seemed to calm down some, a chance here and look there, but nothing too threatening to either goalkeeper.
Ohio State redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried plucked a contested pass, bound for the head of a Cleveland State attacker, out of the air.
On the other end, Ohio State senior forward Michael Prosuk saw his free kick glide just over the crossbar.
But the rest of the game did not go to plan for the Buckeyes.
“That is part of the building process but eventually that is kind of a learned behavior is how you find ways to win games and we’re doing the opposite right now,” Maisonneuve said. “So, I mean, we’ve got to focus on that and really find ways to pull these out.”
Cleveland State opened the scoring in the 38th minute when junior midfielder/forward Lawrence Karpeh ripped home a blistering shot from over 30 yards out.
The second half rolled around and the Vikings added to their lead.
A turnover in the midfield lead to a three on two fast break opportunity for the Vikings in the 59th minute and sophomore midfielder/forward Zach Kluever finished the job to make it 2-0 and provide the dagger for Cleveland State.
“At the end of the day we’ve got to come out fighting and we may be having probably the roughest start ever, you know, here at Ohio State but it’s all about mentality and how we, you know, bounce back,” sophomore forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup said. That’s all that matters and if we keep grinding then things will turn around and we’ve just got to look at the bigger picture and look at the future really.”
The Buckeyes (1-8-2, 0-3-1) travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange on Monday.