It only took half a week for the Ohio State men’s soccer team to make a large dent on what began as a fast start to the season.
The Buckeyes (2-2-3, 1-1-0) lost their second game in four days Wednesday night, falling to Akron, 3-1.
Multiple players stressed in practice this week the importance of not coming out timid. However, they might not have exactly practiced what they preached against the Zips, as Akron took the lead just 12 minutes in.
“We just need to learn that we can’t have a goal scored against us in order to wake up,” senior midfielder Yianni Sarris said. “We need to get at teams from the beginning and just go at them.”
After just two full days of rest before the game against Akron, OSU has another quick turnaround before its next game. The Buckeyes are scheduled to travel to the University of Dayton on Saturday to take on the Flyers (3-3-1).
Short breaks because of weekday games are something that are now becoming commonplace for the Buckeyes. In fact, the longest break the team will receive between games for the rest of the regular season is five days in mid-October.
Senior midfielder Max Moller said the players have to be careful not to overwork themselves because of the pace of the schedule.
“We definitely have to be smart on what we do every day,” Moller said. “Help us prepare for each game but not overwork each other every day, but also not sit back and be too complacent.”
OSU coach John Bluem agreed that it’s important to manage the workload.
“It’s harder on the guys now,” Bluem said. “Now we’ll see if our preseason fitness training has been good enough, and it will test our depth.”
Bluem said he plans to use more substitutions with the games coming closer together.
“More people have to be able to contribute, because not everybody can play 90 minutes a game,” Bluem said.
While in the process of preparing for the game against Akron, Bluem said he also took time to scout the Flyers.
“We watched them the other night when they played Maryland, and they had a very good game in Maryland,” Bluem said. “They’re a good, strong team and we’re going to have our hands full again.
“It’s a quick recovery for us, and it’s a tough stretch of games, and the guys are going to have to reach deep and see if we can come up with a good performance,” Bluem said. “We’ve got to get winning again, we’ve got to turn it around, and the good (that comes from) playing a game right away is you get a chance to do that right away.”
The Buckeyes are looking to get back on the winning side Saturday. The match is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Matthew McGreevy contributed to this story.