Junior forward Christian Soldat was the hero of the night for the second time in five matches, as the Buckeyes pulled through for a 1-0 victory against Cleveland State.
The OSU men’s soccer team extended its winning streak to eight and improved its record to 9-4-2 overall, while the Vikings fell to 6-7-1 on the season.
The last-second goal was a déjà vu feeling for Soldat, who had another game-winner against Bowling Green when he scored with three seconds left on the clock in regulation.
Soldat added 10 seconds to that clock on Wednesday night’s hero, as he sent in the winner with 13 seconds left.
With the match scoreless and the clock running down, Soldat said the Buckeyes began to feel a sense of urgency.
“We know the clock is winding down and we hear that there’s one minute left and we have to push everybody forward,” Soldat said.
Despite the grabbing the win over CSU and keeping the program-record winning streak, the Buckeyes struggled to come out with the victory.
Wednesday night was the first time the Buckeyes and the Vikings met and it showed in the game, as both teams struggled to figure out the other.
The best look of the first half for either team came when Soldat attempted a shot in the 28th minute, but he could not execute.
The game remained scoreless going into halftime and the Buckeyes knew they had to make adjustments if they were going to keep their streak alive.
“If we can pick up our defensive pressure a little bit in the second half, I think we’ll do better,” OSU coach John Bluem said in an interview with Big Ten Network heading into halftime.
Even with the halftime adjustments, the second half of the game was looking like the first half for much of the duration, as neither team could get a point on the board.
The game seemed like it was going into overtime, until Soldat came up with the goal when junior forward Danny Jensen danced around a swarm of Viking defenders and tapped the ball in front of the net, where Soldat was in perfect position to put it home.
“We have Danny Jensen putting his whole body on the line, sliding, winning the ball at the end line,” Soldat said describing the play. “He gets up and looks up and plants the ball straight in to (redshirt freshman forward Jacob) Duska. Duska gets his shot blocked and it just falls right to me to put in.”
Senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer only needed to make one save to preserve his seventh clean sheet of the season, including his fourth consecutive. The Union, Kentucky, native received Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in each of the last three weeks for his strong play of late.
Overall, shots were 12-4 in favor of the Scarlet and Gray, while OSU held a 5-2 lead in corners.
Looking to get the winning streak to nine, the Buckeyes will prepare to travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face Rutgers at 1 p.m. on Sunday.