Ohio State men’s soccer hopes to continue its winning streak against Bowling Green Friday and South Florida Tuesday.
After losing the home opener, Ohio State (3-1-0) has won three straight games. The Buckeyes have shut out multiple opponents including Dayton and are currently doubling their 2018 goals scored per game. No. 25 Bowling Green (3-0-1) and South Florida (2-1-0) both have win streaks and will be serious tests for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State hopes to crash another home opener at 7 p.m. Friday at Bowling Green.
The Falcons have already defeated two Big Ten teams, Northwestern and Wisconsin, giving up zero goals in both games.
The Buckeyes played Bowling Green in the spring, and senior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried said Ohio State’s familiarity with the Falcons is giving him extra motivation for the matchup.
“I have a lot of friends on that team,” Siegfried said. “It makes me want to beat them a little more.”
The Falcons are averaging two goals per game and scored three against Northwestern Sept. 1.
“We have an idea about what they do, but they are very good at what they do,” head coach Brian Maisonneuve said.
Bowling Green has a dynamic offense with six players who have two or more points. Noteworthy players include junior midfielder Chris Sullivan and senior forward Chris Brennan. Sullivan is currently leading the team in points with two goals and two assists.
“They have a lot of weapons,” Maisonneuve said.
To win against the Falcons, the Buckeyes need a strong defense, and Maisonneuve said the coaching staff has been stressing that the outcome of one-on-one duels will determine the game.
With the Falcons pitching a shutout against their last three opponents, Ohio State will also need to be prolific offensively in order to secure a win on the road.
Ohio State will finish its away-game stretch when it travels to South Florida Tuesday — Ohio State’s second road game in four days.
South Florida is undefeated at home, recently defeating number No. 5 Louisville 2-0 and losing a close match against No. 1 Maryland 1-0.
The Bulls’ offense will provide a challenge for the Buckeyes. South Florida has averaged two goals in its two previous games and has three goal scorers.
Notable players include freshman forward Victor Claudel and midfielder Trey Jackson. Claudel is leading the team in points, and Jackson scored the game-winning goal against Marquette.
Ohio State’s fitness level could be a potential factor late in games, as Siegfried said the Buckeyes were worn out in the second half against Eastern Illinois — a partial reason the Buckeyes surrendered the 2-0 lead.
The Buckeyes have given up two 2-0 leads this season, but redshirt sophomore defender Luis Hernandez said Ohio State is not too concerned.
“I think we were just unlucky,” redshirt sophomore Luis Hernandez said.
Hernandez said he looks at the surrendered lead against Eastern Illinois positively and believes it shows the team’s resilience. The Buckeyes scored in the 90th minute to secure the first winning streak under Maisonneuve’s reign.
Ohio State’s offense has looked strong so far. The team has nine different players with either goals or assists and a diverse range of scorers including defenders such as junior Joe Ortiz and Hernandez.
The Buckeyes are strong in net. Siegfried has two shutouts in four appearances.
Ohio State returns home for a Sept. 21 game against Penn State at 7 p.m.