In the midst of a four-game losing streak, the Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-4-0) is preparing for a tough game against one of its in-state rivals.
OSU is scheduled to take on No. 11 Akron (4-1-0) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in Akron, Ohio.
The Buckeyes will be walking into a stadium in front of a large crowd — the Zips drew 2,734 fans to their last home game — as they take on the task of bringing a victory back to Columbus.
Last season, OSU was able to upset the Zips in a first-round NCAA tournament matchup that came down to 15 rounds of penalty kicks. The Buckeyes walked away with the 13-12 penalty kick victory after a 1-1 double overtime draw, leaving the Zips anxious for the 2015 season and a chance to get back at the Scarlet and Gray.
“They’re going to want to come back at us because we knocked them out of the tournament last year,” sophomore forward Marcus McCrary said.
After returning from a loss against Northwestern on Friday, sophomore defender Hunter Robertson said the Buckeyes have a lot of work to do before taking on the task of handling the Zips.
“On Sunday, a lot of the kids who didn’t get to play trained really hard,” Robertson said. “The practice (on Monday) was really intense, but because it’s a rival game, we’ll be ready for this one.”
Despite OSU’s slow start to the 2015 season, the Buckeyes are looking to improve their record in a stadium full of fans seeking revenge.
“The atmosphere is going to be awesome, (I’m) excited for that, but at the same time we’ve got to keep our concentration,” junior forward Danny Jensen said. “We know what they’re going to throw at us, we’ve played there before and it’s a little crazy, we’ve just have to keep our minds and play our game and hopefully we get the end result.”
The OSU men’s soccer team named 10-year-old Ivan Applin as an honorary captain for its game against Wisconsin on Oct. 18.
Ivan had undergone a heart procedure at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ivan’s story made the news after he expressed his concern that he would wake up from surgery a fan of the Michigan Wolverines.
The Buckeyes heard about Ivan’s story and created a video, inviting him to become an honorary captain. Two days later, Ivan and his family responded, expressing their excitement about the invite from the Scarlet and Gray.
Following Wednesday’s game, the Buckeyes are scheduled to host their Big Ten home opener against No. 13 Penn State on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.