The Rutgers men's soccer team will return to Yurcak Field on Busch campus to face off against Ohio State on Friday. The Scarlet Knights (2-4-2, 0-1-1) are coming off a 3-2 road loss to Michigan, where they blew a 2-goal lead.
The Buckeyes (2-4-2, 0-2-0) are coming into this match off the back of a 4-2 loss to Northwestern and remain winless in conference play.
Last season, Rutgers played Ohio State twice. The Knights tied with the Buckeyes 2-2 in Columbus, Ohio, and then won 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinal. The tie came in dramatic fashion with a last-second goal from then-graduate student defender Thomas DeVizio.
Overall, Rutgers is 4-6-1 against Ohio State and is undefeated in its last three contests.
The Buckeyes have struggled this season and currently sit in last place in the Big Ten.
Michael Adedokun leads Ohio State with 5 points off 2 goals and one assist this season. Luciano Pechota and Laurence Wootton have also both scored 2 goals and have started every game for the Buckeyes.
The Knights will need to be cautious of this attacking trio on Friday.
Ohio State has struggled defending and has conceded 12 goals in eight games.
The Buckeyes have rotated between two starting goalkeepers. Peter Van Euwen played in the first three games of the season and allowed opponents to score 1.95 goals per game on average. Max Trejo has started the last six games and has allowed opponents to score 1.29 goals per game on average. Trejo will most likely get the start against Rutgers.
The Knights have had a strong attack as they are tied for third in the Big Ten with 12 goals scored. Graduate student midfielder Jackson Temple is in fine form, as he has scored 3 goals in the last three games.
Despite the positive attacking performances, the Knights have not been sharp on defense. They have allowed a Big Ten-leading 15 goals to be scored against them. Rutgers most recently conceded 3 goals against the Wolverines (2-3-3, 1-0-1) to lose its first Big Ten contest.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton will need to improve between the posts. Dalton's .559 save percentage is the second-lowest in the Big Ten, but his 2.71 saves per game is the third-highest in the Big Ten. This most likely means that the Knights' backline is allowing opponents to take too many high-quality scoring chances.
The game between Rutgers and Ohio State will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and broadcast on Big Ten Plus and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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