Oct. 2, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Ohio State men’s soccer team topped Michigan State, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Soccer Complex in East Lansing, Mich., live on the Big Ten Network. The Buckeyes improve to 2-0 in the Big Ten for the second year in a row and 6-4-1 on the season, while the Spartans drop to 2-6-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the conference.
Chris Gomez and Chris Hegngieach found the back of the net for Ohio State as it captured its seventh-consecutive meeting vs. Michigan State dating back through the 2006 season. All three goals scored in the game were within a six and a half minute span in the first half, beginning in the ninth minute and ending with Hegngi’s game winner in the 15th.
“Every Big Ten game is a battle, especially on the road,” John Bluem, who coached in his 300th game as head coach of the Buckeyes, said. “To come up with a win on the road and go up 2-0 in the conference is critical. I thought Michigan State played well in the second half and we are fortunate to come away with the win. The next two Big Ten games are at home, so let’s hope we can keep the momentum going.”
Midway through the ninth minute, Omar Vallejostarted off the scoring process by launching a free kick into the box from just north of the penalty area. The attempt was deflected back into play, however, and Gomez was able to get a head on it and send the ball to the left of the reaching Spartan goalkeeper Jeremy Clark for his first career goal and the early lead.
The Spartans tied it up exactly four minutes later though when Adam Montague scored on a header of his own, finishing off a pass from Domenic Barone from the right side.
Before the dust could settle, the Buckeyes were able to come up with another as Hegngi extended his team and Big Ten-leading goal total to six on the season late in the 15th minute. Sebastian Rivasplaced a centering pass from the left side into the middle for Hegngi and the junior midfielder turned and swept it into the goal mouth for the lead and eventual game-winner.
Ohio State produced three more shots in the period, but was unable to place a third before the break. The Spartans came out of the intermission with renewed pressure and Rubin Bega, who led the team in scoring coming into the game, produced four shots in the 15 minutes of the second half, three of which were saved by MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Matt Lampson.
Lampson would make two more saves before the end of the game, ending the day with a season-high eight against a 13-11 Spartan shot advantage. Ohio State took six corners in the game, including five in the second half alone, while Michigan State was awarded five.
The win marks the first in a true road game for Ohio State since Sept. 25, 2010, at Michigan (1-0), a span of five losses.
The Buckeyes’ next two games will be at home as they welcome in-state foe Bowling Green to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 and Big Ten rival Northwestern at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.