The No. 13 Ohio State men’s soccer team conceded its second match of the season in a 3-2 loss to Wisconsin Sunday at the McClimon Memorial Soccer Complex in Madison, Wisconsin.
With this loss, the Buckeyes (9-2-5, 4-2-2 Big Ten) dropped out of contention for the Big Ten regular season championship. However, with a 1-1 draw between No. 8 Maryland and Indiana, Ohio State sits at No. 2 in conference rankings entering the Big Ten Tournament Friday.
The Badgers (6-6-3, 3-4-1 Big Ten) won their first match of the season against a ranked opponent and enter the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6-seed.
Right off the bat, Wisconsin came out attacking and kept Ohio State’s defense on its heels. A through-ball from junior midfielder Tim Bielic led to a goal for junior defender Maxwell Keenan at the 19th minute to put the Badgers up 1-0.
Soon after Keenan’s goal, senior defender Aron Eli Saevarsson extended the Badgers lead to 2-0 with a 35th-minute goal. This was the first time all season the Buckeyes trailed by two goals.
Ohio State was unable to convert on its offensive plays in the first half. The Buckeyes had three corner kicks and two shots on goal but could not come up with a score.
However, Ohio State answered quickly in the second half with a 57th-minute header from redshirt senior forward Devyn Etling on an assist from senior midfielder Xavier Green and sophomore midfielder Anthony Samways. Ohio State trailed 2-1.
While Etling’s goal provided some light for the Buckeyes, Wisconsin junior forward Jack Finnegan hindered an immediate Buckeyes comeback with a goal at the 65th minute. Finnegan sliced through six Ohio State defenders and ended with a rocket goal to put the Badgers up 3-1.
Etling, however, responded quickly again with another goal at the 66th minute on an assist from junior midfielder Laurence Wootton.
Down a goal with the regular season conference championship on the line, Ohio State had two shots on target in the last 25 minutes but was unable to convert and lost 3-2.
Fortunately for Ohio State, it returns home Friday to kick off the Big Ten Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. However, the Buckeyes will face Wisconsin again, who ended its regular season on a two-match win streak.
Tournament times are yet to be announced.