The Ohio State men’s soccer team will begin its quest to improve last year’s 9-8-5 season that ended in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Notre Dame by hosting the 10th annual Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic this weekend against Cal State Fullerton and Binghamton.
“For this weekend we really want to go 2-0. I think that will be a great start for us,” senior midfielder and captain Zach Mason said. “Last year we kind of stumbled a little bit. We had a couple ties, so getting a few wins will really help us to move forward.”
The Buckeyes have won the Wolstein Classic a total of six times, including two in the last five years.
Leading the team on the field will be OSU’s three captains—senior defender Liam Doyle, junior defender Tyler Kidwell and Mason. Mason was named to the all-tournament squad in 2012, while Doyle and Kidwell received the same honors last year.
The Scarlet and Gray have nine returning starters including seniors Doyle, Mason and midfielder Kyle Culbertson, as well as juniors Kidwell and forward Danny Jensen. A pair of sophomores in forward Marcus McCrary and defender Hunter Robertson also return for OSU.
In addition to the existing core, the Buckeyes welcome 10 new players that were among College Soccer News’ ninth-ranked class in the nation.
“This season, we want to strongly challenge for the Big Ten, we should win the Big Ten, and have a good (showing) in the NCAA tournament and hopefully reach the back stages of that,” Doyle said.
With the Buckeyes hoping to start off on the right foot, their game against Cal State Fullerton is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday before they face Binghamton, with that game scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“[They] should be two really good out-of-conference tests to start off the year, and it’s always good to get your first game at home, feel the home-field advantage,” Kidwell said.