After mounting a 2-0 advantage, the Ohio State men’s soccer team surrendered three goals in twelve minutes and eventually fell 4-3 to California State University, Northridge, Friday night in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes (0-1), who scored eight goals in all of 2018, scored twice in their first half of play in 2019, but still lost to the Matadors (1-0) after an 81st-minute goal by CSUN freshman forward Samuel Salter. Salter scored twice Friday.
“Mentality was a big part of the game,” Ohio State head coach Brian Masisonneuve said. “After we gave up the first goal, we had our heads down. After the other two, we really had our heads down.”
Following the CSUN three-goal surge, the Buckeyes tied the game with an 80th-minute penalty kick rebound from junior forward Matteo Bennati.
Maisonneuve said the Buckeyes were mentally worn down by the Matadors.
One mental mistake, a second-half foul, resulted in a CSUN free-kick. Sophomore midfielder Omar Grey capitalized to tie the game in the 61st minute.
“We definitely have to tighten up on defense, but a part of it is the mentality,” Maisonneuve said. “There’s going to be up-and-downs in the game of soccer, we have to deal with them better.”
Ohio State senior midfielder Jack Holland doubled down on his coach’s thoughts.
“I think we need to not be complacent. We need to find a way to keep the intensity up no matter what the score is,” Holland said.
Holland, a Columbus native, doubled his career goal total with two goals Saturday. The second, a 27-yard screamer, put the Buckeyes up 2-0 right before halftime.
“It was awesome scoring the two goals,” Holland said. “I have been working for this for four years now. Hopefully, I can keep it up every game.” Holland said.
Ohio State hopes to avoid a second defeat to open the season Sunday against the University of Illinois at Chicago at 3 p.m.