This Saturday, Maryland men's soccer will travel to Columbus to take on a team ranked higher in the Coaches Poll it is for the first time since the Terps upset then-No. 1 UCLA in their home opener. The Ohio State Buckeyes rank 23rd, while Maryland has slid out of the poll completely, receiving the fourth-most votes of any team not in the top 25.
The Halloween matchup will kick off at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
After a scoreless draw against Indiana and a heartbreaking loss late against Delaware, the Terps got back in the win column with a 1-0 victory over then-No. 17 Washington. Maryland has had a scoring drought of late, headlined by the fact that forward Sebastian Elney hasn't scored in almost a month, with his last goal coming in the team's 4-1 win over Wisconsin on Sept. 27. Many of their losses have come against teams that pack it in defensively. The Terps average seven more shots per game than their opponents, but they've had a tough time getting quality chances against the sturdy defenses they've faced. This game could end up being more of the same, as Ohio State doesn't have a particularly high-powered offense either.
On the other hand, Ohio State ripped off eight straight victories before the team suffered a 1-0 loss at Rutgers Sunday, ascending to second in the Big Ten standings with a 3-2-1 conference record to go along with a 9-5-2 overall record.
How to Witness:
Online: Streaming on BTN Plus.
Twitter: Follow @ryanconnors for updates from the game.
Players to watch:
Danny Jensen, forward. The junior leads or is tied for the team lead in points, shots, shots on goal and shot percentage. Unlike many other teams Maryland has played, Ohio State's offense doesn't revolve around one player. The Buckeyes have several guys who can score, evidenced by the fact that they have three players who've scored at least three goals.
Chris Froschauer, goalkeeper. The transfer senior from Dayton has been one of the Big Ten's better goalkeepers this season, coming in third in goals against average and shutout percentage.
Second-half defense. For whatever reason, the Buckeyes allow way more shots in the second half (109) than they do in the first half (79). One-hundred-nine shots is 19 more than Ohio State has attempted in either half.
Weaknesses (same rules as strengths)
Shot generation. The Buckeyes are sixth in the conference in goals per game, which isn't a great place to be in a rather low-scoring conference.