The Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-8-2) will travel to Syracuse, New York, to take on the Orange (5-4-1) at 7 p.m. on Monday.
The battle features two teams that are currently headed in opposite directions.
The Buckeyes have struggled to get going this season, while the Orange are coming off back to back wins over Akron and No. 1 Wake Forest.
On Friday, Syracuse upset Wake Forest by the final score of 2-0 behind goals from junior defender/midfielder John-Austin Ricks and freshman midfielder Hilli Goldhar, and five saves in a clean sheet effort from senior goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert.
“They’re a very good team. They’ve had some good results. It’s gonna be a battle,” Ohio State head coach Brian Maisonneuve said.
After Friday’s match against Cleveland State, Ohio State sophomore forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup said the team needed to focus on executing the game plan and tactics laid out by the coaching staff.
“[Saturday] we’re just going to hit the drawing board and work on more tactics stuff. Clearly what we’re doing, we’re not executing right, you know the coaching staff is amazing, they’re providing us with all the details we’ve just got to execute,” Jackson-Ketchup said. “And it’s just all about staying focused really and going into Syracuse it’s going to be a hostile environment and we’ve just got to come ready and you know come prepared to battle.”
Monday’s match could prove to be a battle of the goalkeepers with both Hilpert and Ohio State’s redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried standing strong for their respective squads.
Heading into the match, Hilpert sports a 1.34 goals against average and a .720 save percentage, while Siegfried maintains a 1.49 goals against average with a save percentage hovering at .660.
On offense, the Orange spread the wealth for nine different players have scored goals this season. They are led in that category by sophomore forward Tajon Buchanan and senior midfielder Jonathan Hagman, who both have three goals.
Hagman leads Syracuse with 10 points, but another key player is midfielder Ryan Raposo, who has two goals and five assists on the year for a total of nine points.
The Buckeyes continue to look for a spark, as they have now failed to secure a victory in their past nine matches after defeating Hofstra 1-0 in Columbus on August 26.
“We’ve got to clean things up and again find ways to get results,” Maisonneuve said. “Even on days where maybe our passing isn’t right or our combinations are a little slow we’ve got to find a way to hunker down and win games and right now we’re doing the opposite.”