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Men’s soccer: Bowling Green presents challenges for Ohio State’s defense

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Ohio State senior forward Christian Soldat pushes the ball up the field against Rutgers in a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sept. 18, 2016. Credit: Gene Ross | Lantern Photographer

Ohio State senior forward Christian Soldat pushes the ball up the field against Rutgers in a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sept. 18, 2016. Credit: Gene Ross | Lantern Photographer

After scoring only one goal through the first four games, the Ohio State men’s soccer team has defeated its last two opponents by a combined score of 7-2.

The Buckeyes look to continue their hot streak as they take on Bowling Green on Saturday at 7 p.m.

In the last game out against Valparaiso, OSU senior striker Danny Jensen recorded the first hat trick for the Scarlet and Grey since 2012. Jensen moved to eighth on the Buckeyes career points list with 48.

“Its pretty cool,” Jensen said. “To be even mentioned in a list like that with some of those players is really special.”

OSU has won three of its last four games. Coach John Bluem said that the team is starting to find a rhythm because his players are finally getting healthy.

“One of the problems we have had all year is that we haven’t been able to play all our guys together because of injuries,” Bluem said. “This is two games in a row where we finally had the same starting lineup. I think it is helping to develop consistency.”

The Buckeyes will take a one-game road trip to Bowling Green before returning to Columbus for two home games next week.

The Falcons come into the game with a record of 5-2-1. The team has been dominant at home this season, playing to a 4-0-1 record at Cochrane Stadium. In those five home matches, the Falcons have outscored opponents 13-2.

Senior forward Pat Flynn and freshman forward Chris Brennan lead their team in scoring. Brennan has found the back of the net four times in eight games, and Flynn has three goals and three assists on the season.

Bowling Green also finds itself atop a few NCAA statistical categories. The Falcons are first in the nation in total assists and fifth overall in total points.

The Buckeyes’ defense, which has shined as of late, will face a stiff test against the in-state foe.

“It helps playing with confidence,” said redshirt freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried. “It’s awesome to know that even if we give up one, maybe a bad pass here and there, we can get it right back.”

The Buckeyes are hoping they have overcome the troubles that plagued them during their slow start and can begin to go on a run much like last year.

“Every year it takes some time to find what your players are capable of doing,” Bluem said. “If we were playing like this at the beginning of the season, we would not have gone 0-4.”

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