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Sept. 16, 2013

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team hosts a pair of in-state opponents this week on Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes will face Wright State at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 before welcoming Dayton for a 7:30 p.m. Friday matchup.

LIVE ACTION
For those unable to make it to JOMS, both matches will be live streamed through Ohio State’s online platforms with links available from the calendar tab on the front page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com or on the men’s soccer schedule page. The game Tuesday is available live through BTN.com and its StudentU production series and, barring technical difficulties, is scheduled to air on BTN at 10 a.m. Thursday. Dayton and Ohio State will be shown on BuckeyeVision Friday evening. Gametracker, as well as Twitter updates from @OhioState_MSOC, will also be in play both nights.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • The Buckeyes sit at 2-2-1 on the season after battling Bowling Green to a scoreless draw through two overtimes last Friday. They have wins over Northern Illinois and SMU, while taking losses to UNC Wilmington and Tulsa. The Wilmington and NIU matches were part of the eighth annual Wolstein Classic, with the other two contests coming at the Hurricane Classic at Tulsa.
  • Goalkeeper Alex Ivanov and the Buckeye defense have three shutouts in five games this season, surpassing the total from all of 2012 (2).
  • Ohio State’s five goals have been scored by five different players; the same for its five assists.
  • Sage Gardner and Christian Soldat lead the team with three points apiece as the only players to tally both a score and an assist.
  • Ohio State returns four starters in Gardner, a senior captain, juniors Kenny Cunningham and Zach Dobey and Mason from the 2012 team. John Bluem, who enters his 17th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, welcomes a total of 17 new players to Columbus, including a talented group of nine true freshmen.
  • In goal, Ivanov has played every minute, and has 37 saves, three shutouts and a goals-against average of 1.12. He earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors Sept. 3 after stopping two PKs in the Buckeyes’ 2-0 win over Northern Illinois.

DOLLAR DOG NIGHT
Enjoy Dollar Dog Night Tuesday while watching Ohio State and Wright State. Hot dogs from Levy concessions are $1 while supplies last.

SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Wright State comes into Columbus with an 1-2 record after falling to West Virginia, 2-1, Friday night in Morgantown. Brett Elder is the lone Raider player with multiple goals (2) and is tied for the team lead in points with Chris DuPont who also has four points, off one goal and two assists. Wright State’s lone win came against Marshall in the season opener in a 3-2 overtime decision. The Buckeyes trail in the all-time series with the Raiders 6-9-1, although the teams have met in the regular season just once since the 1999 campaign.

Last season, Chris Hegngi scored in the 72nd minute to lift Ohio State to a 2-1 victory over Wright State Oct. 19 at cold and rain-soaked Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Sage Gardner also scored in the contest, putting the Buckeyes on top 1-0 before Wright State equalized towards the end of the first half. Gardner’s second goal of the season came in the 27th minute when Joshua Breto was taken down inside the penalty area and Gardner buried the penalty kick beyond the reach of WSU keeper Jacob Bye. Midway through the second half, with the score tied 1-1, Austin McAnena sailed a free kick just over the crossbar and the team was granted three-consecutive corner kicks, finally capitalizing in the seconds following the third. Brady Wahl and Zach Mason teamed up on the assists, playing the ball through the penalty area to Hegngi, who continued the forward motion and sent the shot into the right side of the net for the go-ahead goal.

SCOUTING THE FLYERS
The Flyers are 5-0-0 on the season with wins over IPFW, Northern Kentucky, Lipscomb, Western Illinois and Detroit, and are out-scoring opponents 14-3. Abe Keller and Brian Richards lead the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the country with four goals apiece. With two additional assists, Keller is among one of the Top 15 point scorers in the nation. Dayton does not have a midweek game before traveling to Columbus.

The Buckeyes hold a 22-17-5 advantage in the series, though the teams met last season for the first time since 2000. The Buckeyes dropped a 3-2 decision to Dayton in the 2012 season opener Aug. 24 at Baujan Field in Dayton. They battled back from a two-goal halftime deficit, but were unable to complete the comeback and started the 2012 campaign in the hole, 0-1. Sebastian Rivas and Alec Lowell each scored highlight-reel worthy goals in the second half, with the sophomore Lowell’s standing as his first career tally. Chris Hegngi had a handful of near misses, ending the night with a game-high seven shot attempts.

LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes ended their night in a scoreless draw with Bowling Green last Friday at Cochrane Field in Bowling Green, Ohio. Ohio State’s chances were limited, but the offense was able to produce a handful of promising opportunities in the final minute of regulation and the bonus periods. Alex Ivanov and the OSU defense earned their third shutout in the five games of 2013, already surpassing the total from all of 2012.

UP NEXT
Following the matches vs. Wright State and Dayton this week, the Buckeyes will take on seventh-ranked Akron at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in Akron, Ohio. The Zips are 4-2 on the season with a match vs. Bowling Green slated for Saturday. NSCAATV.com, an online media property providing original programming, live streams and other content promoting the college soccer game, will carry the Ohio State-Akron meeting live.

MAKE B1G PLANS
Ohio State is the host of the 2013 Big Ten Championship, scheduled for Nov. 13-17 on Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Action will begin Wednesday, Nov. 13 with three quarterfinal matches. The No. 1 seed and first-round winners will meet in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 15 with the championship taking place Sunday, Nov. 17. Wednesday contests will be streamed on BTN.com with the semifinals and final matches appearing on BTN.

BIG TEN PREDICTIONS
Senior captain Sage Gardner, along with classmate Ben Killian and junior Alec Lowell are among the 21 student-athletes deemed “Players to Watch” by the Big Ten at the start of the season. The team was selected seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll released Aug. 21. Indiana, who is ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA preseason Top 25 poll as the defending national champions, is atop the preseason conference standings. Reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion Michigan State checked in at No. 2 in the preseason poll, followed by No. 3 Northwestern, No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Penn State. The Wildcats and Nittany Lions shared the Big Ten title in 2012.

ROOKIE MAGIC
Nine freshmen make up the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s rookie class, named No. 29 in the country by College Soccer News prior to the season. The group is the fourth-highest ranked class in the Big Ten behind No. 7 Indiana, No. 8 Michigan and No. 28 Northwestern. All eight freshmen field players have seen action so far this season with many expected to continue playing integral roles in the Buckeyes’ regular-season campaign.

FREE FOR ALL
The Buckeyes’ schedule includes 10 matches at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with home Big Ten action kicking off Oct. 6 against Michigan. Admission is free to all Ohio State men’s soccer regular-season home games.

BUCKEYES ON BTN
Ohio State will make at least two appearances on BTN this season. Seven additional home games will be streamed online through BTN.com with the remaining three available via BuckeyeVision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The Buckeyes open the Big Ten schedule Sept. 29, taking on defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Indiana in Bloomington, Ind. The 2 p.m. ET match will be broadcast live on BTN. The squad also will appear on BTN at Michigan State Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. The semifinals and final of the Big Ten Championship, hosted by Ohio State Nov. 13-17, also will be shown live on BTN.

COACHING CORNER
John Bluem, the winningest coach in OSU program history, is in his 17th season at the helm of the Buckeyes. The three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year owns a 168-120-44 record at Ohio State. His career record, which includes six seasons at Fresno State, stands at 254-147-56.