After a victorious match at home last Friday, the No. 15 Ohio State women’s soccer team looks to remain on the winning path as it hosts a set of games this weekend.
The Buckeyes are set to face the West Virginia Mountaineers on Friday at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium before squaring off against the Bucknell Bison on Sunday at noon.
The team had a few crucial days off before returning to practice to prepare for the weekend’s matchups.
“We had a little bit of time off after our game on Friday,” coach Lori Walker said. “We needed that for some rest and recovery, so practices have been tight and intense and have been at a high level. I really like where the team is at and what they’re doing. It seems like the rest really paid off.”
The Scarlet and Gray enter Friday’s match 4-0-1 on the season, but Walker says the team’s record is not the most important thing.
“We really don’t focus on where our record is. The word ‘undefeated’ isn’t really part of our vocabulary. We just focus on the small things that have gotten us to where we are,” Walker said. “Our defending and the speed at which we’re transitioning into attack and into defending I think has been key to us.”
Junior defender Bridget Skinner said she believes in the work the team has done thus far.
“I think we are just leaning on each other and building off of our concepts,” Skinner said. “And we have been following this concept to kind of build a ship, and I think it’s coming together and we kind of know what our ship needs to look like. We’re not all individual players this year, which is really helping.”
Skinner said improved leadership on the team — by one player in particular — has been a critical component to the Buckeyes’ undefeated start.
“(Redshirt junior) Morgan Wolcott, our center back, is really stepping up this year. She has been on and off with injuries in previous seasons, but this year she has been out and she’s been stepping up and I really think she’s the driving force of our team,” Skinner said.
With the No. 8 Mountaineers coming to Columbus, Walker said she knows the team needs to be playing at its best. In order for that to happen, she is counting on individuals to step up.
“Whenever you’re playing against an opponent, such as West Virginia, who we’re very familiar with, you need personality players to step up,” Walker said. “Personality comes in all kinds of ways. Personality can just be somebody that shows up with extra energy, personality can be somebody that does something special, personality can be somebody that’s willing to do extra work defensively or in transition.”