After a successful run through nonconference play, Ohio State women’s soccer opens its difficult conference schedule Sunday.
The Buckeyes (5-3-0) open up Big Ten play this week as they hit the road to take on the University of Maryland (4-2-2) in College Park, Maryland.
Ohio State finished off its nonconference season above .500 despite four of those matches being opponents ranked in the top 25.
The Buckeyes three losses on the year have come from three of those four top 25 teams — BYU, TCU and North Carolina.
Competing against such great teams in the nonconference has head coach Lori Walker-Hock excited about how her team can compete on the Big Ten stage.
“The Big Ten has tremendous teams,” Walker-Hock said. “We’ve seen a little bit of everything this season and all that does is prepare you for conference play.”
The Buckeyes are currently ranked 7th in goals scored in the Big Ten before conference play begins.
The goal leader for the Buckeyes is junior forward Emma Sears who has five goals on the year and looks to add to that total in conference play.
Co-captain and senior forward Kayla Fischer is currently second in the Big Ten for shots per game behind Purdue’s Sarah Griffith.
The season has been a grueling one so far for the Buckeyes, and this next match is the first time the Buckeyes have not had a two-game week all season.
“We just have to get our bodies right before we go into Big Ten play,” graduate forward Emaly Vatne said.
The Buckeyes take on the University of Maryland at 2 p.m. Sunday and return back home to Jesse Owens Memorial Field Thursday at 7 p.m. to take on the University of Minnesota.