Ohio State then-sophomore midfielder Joshua Jackson-Ketchup (10) tries to win the ball against a Rutgers defender during the second half of the Ohio State-Rutgers game on Sep. 30. Ohio State lost 3-2. Credit: Cody Mefferd | For the Lantern

Ohio State men’s soccer heads to Dayton this weekend for two games, where it will try to surpass its 2018 win total.

The Buckeyes (1-1) face the Dayton Flyers (0-2) Friday following their first win of the year against the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames Sunday, and will wrap up the road trip with an upcoming Sunday matchup against the Eastern Illinois Panthers. 

The Flyers are 0-2 this season, but have won three of their past five matchups against the Buckeyes. Head coach Brian Maisonneuve said he isn’t expecting an easy game against the winless team.

“It’s going to be a battle for 90 minutes,” Maisonneuve said. 

Both of Dayton’s losses came in closely contested games. The Flyers lost 3-2 in overtime to UIC and were tied with California State University, Northridge until the 73rd minute. 

Dayton has had three different scorers in two games. Junior midfielder Jonas Fjeldberg returns as the team’s leading goal scorer, with four goals in 2018. He’s already netted one this season.

Maisonneuve said he expects a hostile environment at Baujan Field on Friday. 

“Dayton is a fast-paced team,” Maisonneuve said. 

Ohio State battles 0-2 EIU Sunday. Despite their record, the Panthers have experience, with 12 upperclassmen on the roster, and will have extra preparation as they’re coming off a bye week.

The Panthers’ key players are senior forward Alex Castaneda, who has scored their only goal this season, and redshirt senior forward Christian Sosnowski, who led the team in scoring in 2018. 

Ohio State senior midfielder Jack Holland said viewing game tape daily is keeping the team focused for this weekend’s matches and was beneficial against the Flames Sunday.

“Sure, we had a great weekend, but that’s one of the many games we have left,” Holland said.

The Buckeye starters are mostly upperclassmen and experience is important to success, senior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried said.

Holland said he is using the fact that this is his final season with the Buckeyes as motivation.

“This could be the last time I ever play,” Holland said.

Holland doubled his career goal total with two goals against CSUN Saturday and had the game-winning assist against the Flames.

Team chemistry is another important factor for success, Holland said.

“This has also been the closest team that I have been a part of,” Holland said. “The team has seriously bought in. We hang out a lot, watch movies together and keep each other accountable.”

Ohio State kicks off against Dayton at 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Sunday against EIU.