Ohio State mens soccer team returns to Big Ten play against Michigan

OSU senior forward Kenny Cunningham (17) defends against a Louisville player during a game against Louisville on Sept. 29 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 1-0. Credit: Breanna Williams / Lantern PhotographerAfter a three-game home stand, the Ohio State men’s soccer team is set to resume Big Ten action away from Columbus.The Buckeyes are scheduled to face Michigan State at 1 p.m. on Sunday in East Lansing, Michigan.OSU is in the midst of a hot streak after a slow start to the season, pulling out two ties against ranked teams and winning two straight games.“We’re on that upswing and that’s two games in a row that we’ve won and a four-game unbeaten streak, so the team’s confident and we’re finding ways to win,” junior forward Danny Jensen said.The Buckeyes swept their three-game home stand, but the challenge for the Scarlet and Gray has been winning games on the road.“Now the next challenge is to maintain the type of quality that we showed at home in a road game, because it’s very difficult to play on the road especially in the conference,” OSU coach John Bluem said.The Buckeyes have lost every road match so far this season except for a tie at Akron. The Buckeyes are looking to transfer the momentum they have had at home to the road.The Spartans will likely be out for revenge against the Buckeyes after OSU defeated MSU last season.“I think our guys will be able to handle it. We’ve got to play smart and be competitive for 90 minutes,” Bluem said.The battle between OSU and MSU is scheduled to kick off on Sunday at 1 p.m.Last year vs. the SpartansOSU claimed a 3-2 victory over then-No.17 MSU on Oct. 4 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU then-freshman forward Marcus McCrary scored his first career goal in the 15th minute of the game, followed by shots from then-senior midfielder Yianni Sarris in the 71st minute and then-junior defender Liam Doyle in the 73rd minute. MSU managed to score in the 62nd and 75th minutes, but the Scarlet and Gray were able to prevent another Spartan point. The Buckeyes moved up to second in the Big Ten standings after the victory.Scouting MSUThe Spartans hold a 5-3-1 overall record and 1-0-1 in Big Ten action. The Spartans will be entering Sunday’s match after winning two straight games against Bowling Green and Big Ten rival Rutgers.Freshman forward Ryan Sierakowski leads the team with two goals and two assists, followed by sophomore midfielder Ken Krolicki (two goals, one assist) and senior defender Zach Carroll (one goal, one assist). MSU has also received goals from senior midfielder Jason Stacy, redshirt junior defender Jerome Cristobal, freshman forward DeJuan Jones, and redshirt senior forward Blake Skamiera.In goal, senior Zach Bennett has played all but 14 minutes this season and has four shutouts, 27 saves and a goals-against average of 0.77.What’s next?Following Sunday’s action, the Buckeyes are scheduled to return home to take on Bowling Green at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

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