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Ohio State men’s soccer team looks to stay locked in against Cleveland State

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OSU players celebrates after an overtime goal against Bowling Green on Oct. 7 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Eric Weitz / Lantern Photographer

OSU players celebrates after an overtime goal against Bowling Green on Oct. 7 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Eric Weitz / Lantern Photographer

The Ohio State men’s soccer team is currently riding the longest winning streak in program history.

The Buckeyes are looking to build on their seven-game tear against Cleveland State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Scarlet and Gary did not face the Vikings last season but are looking to come out with a win despite limited knowledge of the opponent.

“We’re going to prepare to play against Cleveland State and do the best that we can against CSU,” coach John Bluem said. “When that game is over, then we will go on to the next.”

The Buckeyes have been on fire and plan to take one game at a time to keep its momentum.

A daunting challenge for the Vikings will be trying to break through the Buckeye defense, as the OSU back end has been nearly impenetrable lately for the opposition. It’s been three games since a team has found the back of the net against OSU.

“The backs are playing fantastic and we know that we just need to go in there and put things away,” senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson said.

The Buckeyes have enjoyed the support of their home fans and look for it to continue as the team draws closer to postseason play.

“This team is really in a groove right now with seven straight wins and nine unbeaten,” junior forward Christian Soldat said. “It feels great to be at home to play in front of a crowd that grows every single game, and they’re always behind us and we’re going to keep playing for them.”

Viking territory

The Vikings will be entering Wednesday’s match coming off the heels of a shutout win, 1-0, over Belmont on Saturday. Cleveland State has won three games in a row and has extended its record to 6-6-1 overall.

Sophomore defender Jake Lagania leads the Vikings with five goals and three assists, followed by junior forward Sergio Manesio with three goals.

Cleveland State has used a timeshare system at goalkeeper this season.

Junior goalkeeper Nick Ciraldo has played about 600 minutes on the year and has a goals-against average of 2.14, with 16 saves overall, while junior goalkeeper Aleksandar Drobac has played for about 700 minutes and has a goals-against average score of 1.10 with 31 saves.

Player of the week awards piling up

For the third consecutive week, redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, while junior forward Danny Jensen was named Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in October.

Both players have been vital to what OSU has been able to accomplish thus far.

Jensen leads the team with four goals and three assists on the season, giving him a total of 11 points.

Froschauer has started every game in 2015 after transferring from Dayton. He has logged more than 1,000 minutes and boasts a goals-against average of 0.88 and 45 saves this season.

Froschauer became the third player in conference history to rack up three consecutive weekly honors.

Moving on up

After Saturday’s victory, the Buckeyes have moved to first place in the Big Ten conference, followed by Maryland and Rutgers, respectively. The Scarlet and Gray have also moved up to No. 18 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.

Up next

Following Wednesday’s action, the Buckeyes are set to travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face Rutgers at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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