Upcoming Big Ten battles will determine fate of mens soccer team

As the season winds down for the Ohio State men’s soccer team, the remaining stretch of games might be their toughest test yet.Four out of the next five games will be Big Ten showdowns for the Buckeyes. These games will ultimately decide who wins the conference championship and what team could make it to the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes’ remaining Big Ten opponents are Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. The lone non-conference game is against West Virginia. Penn State and Indiana are leading the Big Ten, and Wisconsin and Michigan are tied with OSU for fourth place. OSU is within striking distance of claiming that top spot, making the Buckeyes’ next few games very important.OSU plays Penn State on Sunday in a game that could decide who wins the conference. Penn State sits at 2-0-1 in the conference. They have beaten Michigan State on the road, Michigan at home and tied Northwestern. OSU sits at 1-1 in the Big Ten.“If we want a conference championship we have to beat Penn State,” coach John Bluem said. “If we don’t beat Penn State, I would say we’re probably out of the conference championship race already. So for us it becomes a knockout game already.”Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Bluem said that as the season winds down, OSU cannot lose more games. Every game from this point on means a lot in the conference race and the ability to make the NCAA Tournament.

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