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Aug. 24, 2012

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DAYTON, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team dropped a 3-2 decision to Dayton Friday night in front of 1,148 fans at Baujan Field in Dayton. The Buckeyes battled back from a two-goal halftime deficit, but were unable to complete the comeback and now start 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.

“We played well enough at times, especially in the second half,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said, “But we dug ourselves into a hole early and couldn’t get out of it. I was proud of the way the team didn’t give up, but we need to do better at playing for 90 minutes.”

Despite holding a commanding 13-5 advantage in shots in the first half, the Buckeyes found themselves down 2-0 midway through the period. Evan McCreary scored both for the Flyers, finishing the first from 15 yards out off assists by Greg Enstone and Ryan Peterson in the 10th minute. The second came just under 18 minutes later with a header following an Eddie Jones corner kick.

Sandwiching the goals were a myriad of opportunities for the Buckeyes, including a goal-line skimming cross and blasts off the crossbar by Hegngi.

The continued pressure eventually paid off as Ohio State cut the margin in half less than a minute into the second stanza. From outside the 18, Rivas launched it inside the far post, cutting the upper right 90 for his fifth career score. Relief was short-lived, however, as Dayton countered a minute and a half later with an Abe Keller goal to go up 3-1.

Lowell was able to chip away at the lead though, scoring late in the 62nd minute on a shot which looked markedly similar to the Buckeyes’ first. Following a flurry of OSU activity in the box, the Weston, Fla., native collected the ball just north of the penalty area and stuffed alongside the far post, behind the reach of the Flyers’ goalkeeper.

Ohio State produced eight more shots down the stretch, but were unable to find the back of the net. Dayton’s keeper Chris Froschauer came up with several key stops though and ended the night with 10 saves, including four on those final attempts.

Ohio State ended the night with a 27-14 advantage in shots and a 7-4 margin in corners.

The Buckeyes open their home season at noon Sunday against UIC. Admission to the game in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, and to all home regular-season games this season, is free. The Flames dropped their season opener to DePaul, 2-1, Friday night. Defender Zach Kaleta had UIC’s lone score, connecting on a corner kick by Ivan Stanisavljevic. The Flames knocked off the Buckeyes in the last meeting, a 1-0 decision Oct. 13, 2010, in Chicago. Ohio State trails 1-3-1 all-time, dropping each of the last two, with its lone win coming in 1995 (3-0, Sept. 20).