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Women’s Soccer: Ohio State eyes turnaround for Michigan games

Ohio State sophomore defender Izzy Rodriguez (9) scores a goal off a penalty kick in the second half of the game against Iowa on Sept. 27. Ohio State won 2-0. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

After a tie in the last match with Nebraska at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, the Ohio State women’s soccer team will aim for better results when it faces Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday and Michigan State at 1 p.m. Sunday.

With the tie, the Buckeyes sit at 6-4-1, with a 3-1-1 record in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines are coming off back-to-back losses against Minnesota and Northwestern, tallying an overall record of 6-6-0 on the year. Last season, Ohio State won a home game against Michigan 1-0.

After scoring the goal for Ohio State that tied up the game with Nebraska, sophomore defender Izzy Rodriguez is looking forward to competing against two teams on the road once again.

“We’ve had a lot of road trips,” Rodriguez said. “So I think we’re pretty comfortable this year with playing away. Obviously we love being home, but I think with the experiences we’ve had in our nonconference, being away a lot, that’s helped us prepare to be away also a lot in the conference.”

Sophomore midfielder Alia Martin notched the only goal for Michigan in the previous game against the Wildcats, during which Northwestern came away with a 4-1 victory.

Michigan’s strength this season is its offense, which scored a total of six goals against Central Michigan, had nine saves against Purdue and eight corner kicks against Boston University.

Sophomore midfielder Nicki Hernandez has been a vital player on the Wolverines offense, totaling six goals, five assists and two game-winning goals so far this season.

Ohio State and Michigan will battle out the rivalry, this time in Ann Arbor, Michigan.   

The last time Ohio State met Michigan State, the match went into double overtime at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, where the Buckeyes won against the Spartans 1-0.

Michigan State currently sits at 5-4-3, 0-3-2 in the Big Ten, shining in nonconference play and winning five consecutive games.

However, the Spartans continue to compete in rough matchups in Big Ten play, recently coming off two consecutive losses to Wisconsin and Illinois.

Freshman forward Camryn Evans seems to be Michigan State’s star player this season, scoring six total goals — four against Oakland and two against Purdue.

The Spartans will look for a victory against the Buckeyes this weekend, following their defeat here last year.

Senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr said the team was happy coming off a tie with Nebraska, despite not getting the results it wanted. She also said her teammates showed a lot of resiliency and fight by coming back to tie the game.

“I think we’re really motivated this week,” Kerr said. “This weekend especially since because we’re going to be playing both the teams up north, so that’s kind of enough motivation in itself.”

After a shaky start to the season, Ohio State sees the pair of Michigan matchups as a chance to turn around its start, hoping to take each game at a time and focusing on coming away with a win.

“After the last couple of games, I think our biggest thing is to take each game one at a time and not really focus on the big picture at the time,” Rodriguez said. That’s what’s helped us succeed in the past couple of games is we really focus on the details of each game, and then hopefully that will create the bigger picture of success.”

 

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