The Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-13-2, 0-6-1 Big Ten) will conclude the 2018 regular season when it travels to Wisconsin (8-5-2, 5-2 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon.
The Buckeyes enter the season finale on an eight-game losing streak, in which the team has only managed to find the back of the net four times.
On the other side of the pitch, Wisconsin enters the match coming off of back-to-back victories over Michigan and Northwestern, trying to secure the second seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.
The Big Ten Tournament, which will kick off next Sunday, will see Ohio State enter as the ninth and lowest seed in the tournament. Indiana has earned the No. 1 seed, clinching its first Big Ten title since 2010 after defeating Ohio State in Columbus on Wednesday night.
The Badgers offense is driven mainly by a pair of talented freshmen forwards from Illinois, Andrew Akindele with three goals and four assists and Noah Melick with four goals and one assist.
Wisconsin’s second-leading goal scorer is redshirt senior forward Isaac Schlenker, who has three goals on the year.
In order for Ohio State to find the win column, its forward group, led by the team’s leading scorer, redshirt freshman forward Devyn Etling, and the team’s leader in shots taken, senior forward Michael Prosuk must have an impact on Sunday afternoon.
“We have to keep moving forward, one thing I give these guys credit for is they battle. They battle, and they battle and they battle. Against Wisconsin we’ve got to find some goals,” Maisonneuve said. “Again, if we defend like we did [against Indiana], we’ll be successful, we just have to find some goals.”
In goal for Ohio State, redshirt junior Parker Siegfried is coming off a brilliant performance against No. 2 Indiana on Wednesday. Siegfried secured a season-high seven saves as his play between the pipes kept Ohio State alive all night.
“The good thing about this, although we didn’t get the result we wanted, I think we’re going to kind of have a lot of confidence rolling into Wisconsin on Sunday,” Siegfried said.
His backline, which had a strong outing against Indiana must have a repeat performance to give Siegfried some support.
After the match against Indiana on Wednesday, Siegfried said that relishing their role as an underdog helped them against the Hoosiers and he said he thinks it will help them against Wisconsin in the finale.
“I just think accepting that underdog mentality and kind of running with it is huge for us,” Siegfried said. “And I think we did that [Wednesday night] and we gave it to them a little bit so I don’t think Indiana wants to play us here again in the Big Ten quarterfinals after that. If Indiana doesn’t want to play you, then Wisconsin probably doesn’t want to play you.”
Between the pipes for Wisconsin is junior goalkeeper Dean Cowdroy has a 0.93 goals against average alongside a .776 save percentage. Siegfried, has a 1.89 goals against average and a .644 save percentage for Ohio State through its 16 matches this season.
Ohio State and Wisconsin are scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.