By Eddie Hobbs
Maryland (8-0-3, 3-0-2) will travel to Ohio State (7-2-1, 3-1) on Friday to take on the Buckeyes in a highly touted Big Ten match. You can listen to WMUC Sports’ broadcast here.
The Terps will enter Columbus with new found energy after scoring six goals over the past two matches against UConn and Northwestern.
One of the biggest differences for the Terps has been the accuracy with their shots. In the games against Michigan State and UMBC, Maryland took an abundance of shots, but few were on goal.
The Terrapins combined for 44 shots with 15 shots on goal, good for 34 percent. To make matters worse, Maryland came out of those two contests with one goal. With the firepower that Maryland boasts it was peculiar that it could not finish inside the box.
Against Northwestern last Friday, Maryland had 17 shots with 13 shots on goal. Most recently against UConn on Monday night, Maryland had 11 shots with eight shots on goal. This kind of production is what head coach Sasho Cirovski has been waiting to see. Cirovski knew his team was close to finishing opportunities and everything is starting to come to fruition.
Ohio State finished 5-13-1 last season and played seven ranked opponents. It lost all but one of those contests, a 2-2 draw against Indiana.
A few featured players returning to Ohio State from that 2016 team is forward Nate Kohl and midfielder Abdi Mohamed. Both players were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List before the 2017 season.
Mohamed has stood out for the Buckeyes this season. He has three goals and four assists, two of his goals have been game winners.
Ohio State was on fire for the month of September. The Buckeyes had six straight clean sheets, and they were able to get into the United Soccer Coaches Poll mid-way through September. Ohio State was ranked as high as No. 16 in the month.
Once October rolled around, Ohio State faced off against No. 4 Michigan State and did not fare well against the Spartans, the final score was 1-5. After the loss, Ohio State dropped out of the top 25.
One thing to take note of is that Michigan State was able to get off 14 shots with 10 shots on goal. If Maryland continues its accurate play, it will have a big day in Columbus on Friday night.