The Buckeyes seek to capture a second-straight victory Saturday against Cleveland State.
Ohio State (6-4-1) snapped a four-game winless streak with its first Big Ten conference win of the season against Rutgers, and now host a nonconference contest with the Vikings (3-4-1) at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Ohio State’s lost to Cleveland State as part of its one-win 2018-2019 season, which senior midfielder Jack Holland said is motivating the team.
“I am excited to get a little revenge. I think we are obviously a different team this year and are doing a lot better,” Holland said.
The Vikings head into Columbus on a two-game losing streak, and maintain an 0-4-1 in away matches this season.
Cleveland State’s offense is comparable to Ohio State’s, averaging 1.38 goals per game to the Buckeyes’ 1.36. Each have also run into trouble scoring in recent games, Cleveland State being shutout in three of its past six contests and Ohio State in two of its past four.
Defensively, Cleveland State allows 1.08 goals per game.
Cleveland State players to watch are senior forward Gabriel Pewu and senior forward Lawrence Karpeh. Both total four goals on the season.
The Buckeyes will search for quick offense following changes of possession against the Vikings, Holland said.
“They’re a great attacking team which means they will leave areas and leave things in transition because they get so far forward,” Holland said. “If we can attack them quick in transition then there will be a lot of spots for us to play.”
Head coach Brian Maisonneuve echoed Holland’s sentiments, stating that the area covered by Cleveland State’s attack helps open gaps.
“They go forward and make the field huge. The transition will be huge from defense to offense. When you have a team that naturally likes to get big then it is open for transition,” head coach Brian Maisonneuve said.
Once in transition, Ohio State could utilize redshirt sophomore forward Devyn Etling and Holland, the top two scorers on the squad. Etling has five goals in 2019 and Holland has three.
Ohio State and Cleveland State kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday.