Despite lofty goals for the 2015 season, the Ohio State men’s soccer team staggered out of the gates with an opening-weekend two-game split at home.
The Buckeyes (1-1) opened the season with a win against Cal State Fullerton on Friday before falling to Binghamton two days later in the 10th annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic.
“We played poorly this weekend,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “We have a good team, but we aren’t playing very well right now. We need to recognize that and whatever the issues are and try to move forward.”
Senior midfielder and co-captain Zach Mason implied that physicality is normally the team’s strong point, but the physical nature of the team was lacking over the weekend.
OSU struggled in the game against Binghamton, allowing the Bearcats to score within four minutes of the start of the game when Bearcats senior forward Pascal Trappe found the back of the net with an unassisted goal.
“We had a hard break in the beginning, which really set us back, and with the heat, it was really difficult to get back into the game; but we should have battled it out a little better,” junior defender and co-captain Tyler Kidwell said.
The Buckeyes continued to battle against the Bearcats when junior forward Christian Soldat slotted the ball past the goalkeeper in the 23rd minute, for what would have been OSU’s first goal. However, the equalizer was taken away when a flag was waived on the play to call offsides.
The Bearcats nearly tacked on another goal within 25 minutes of the game, but the shot was stopped by senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer, who kept the Buckeyes alive heading into halftime.
Junior forward Danny Jensen scored a goal to start the second half, but that was once again taken away when the referee called another offsides, keeping the Buckeyes away from tying the game.
OSU continued to struggle to legally put the ball in the net, allowing Binghamton to walk away with a victory and improve their record to 1-1-0.
Despite the loss against Binghamton, the Buckeyes did come out on top with a season-opening 2-0 victory against Cal State Fullerton on Friday.
Within the first 25 minutes of the game, Cal State Fullerton was issued a red card because of a hard tackle. The one-man advantage immediately paved the way for the OSU victory.
Jensen and redshirt senior forward Kenny Cunningham teamed up on an assist to senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson, whose left-footed goal from five yards out gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead about 29 minutes into the first half.
OSU kept the lead going into the second half, where it was able to tack on a final goal. A penalty was called against the Titans in the second half, allowing senior defender Liam Doyle to convert a penalty kick, giving the Buckeyes the 2-0 lead that stood as the end result.
Making his OSU debut, Froschauer managed to keep the Titans from scoring, making three saves.
Despite the unfavorable weekend split, Froschauer’s new teammates were pleased with his performance.
“He played great,” Kidwell said. “That was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from him, and we really need that this year and hope we can continue that down the stretch.”
Froschauer was named to the Wolstein Classic All-Tournament Team along with Culbertson.
“I thought Kyle Culbertson and Chris Froschauer played very well for us this weekend,” Bluem said.
Although both players performed well over the weekend, the Buckeyes hope to get their team on one accord as they continue on in the season.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to face No. 12 University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Friday in Baltimore at 7 p.m., before facing Navy on Sunday in Annapolis, Maryland, at 4 p.m.