Coming off a winless weekend on the road, the Ohio State women’s soccer team is set to return home Saturday to face Maryland.
The Buckeyes are 5-7-1 overall and 2-4-1 in the Big Ten after being shut out against then-No. 13 Wisconsin and picking up a double-overtime draw against Minnesota. Maryland has a 5-4-3 record with a 3-2-2 mark in conference play.
OSU coach Lori Walker said the team is still looking to improve after each game and is headed in the right direction.
“We had some moments this past weekend where our possession was very good and we had a ton of attacking opportunities against Minnesota and so I feel like we continue to be on the right path and just continuing to improve and handle the challenges that come with playing a variety of different teams,” Walker said.
Junior midfielder Michela Paradiso said the Buckeyes are putting extra focus on making adjustments for their game against Maryland.
“We’ve been working really hard this week about getting competitive and raising our level and standard,” Paradiso said. “I think just all around we have to be willing to make some changes for this weekend against a really good Maryland team. We’ve worked on our attack and trying to finish so we’ll be good.”
The game is scheduled to be the second meeting ever between OSU and Maryland and first as conference opponents. Paradiso said the team is aware of the quality of its opponent but is prepared to step up to the challenge.
“We played them before they were on our schedule and they’re a really good team coming out of a really good conference, so I guess we need to step up our level,” Paradiso said. “Now that the conference expanded, we may have to push harder to make it to the tournament.”
In 2012, the Buckeyes defeated the Terrapins, 1-0, in Columbus in the first meeting between the teams.
With the Big Ten tournament approaching next month, senior forward Kayla Varner said the games coming up are important for the team to qualify.
“I think we have a tough road ahead of us, but I think it’s very possible if we can just connect these last few games and get a few more (wins),” Varner said.
The matchup with the Terrapins is set for 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.