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Aug. 26, 2015


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team begins the 2015 regular season by hosting the tenth annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic this weekend were it will take on Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 p.m. Friday before facing Binghamton at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Wright State rounds out the tournament field, taking on Binghamton in the opening game at 5 p.m. Friday then meeting Cal State Fullerton at noon Sunday. 

FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans that cannot make it to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, there are a variety of ways to follow the action. Both Ohio State matches will be broadcast on BTN Plus ($). A link to live stats will be available from the calendar tab on the front page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com or on the tournament central page. Twitter updates also will be available from @OhioState_MSOC.

OPENING NIGHT
The Buckeyes are 26-25-11 in lidlifters all-time and 7-7-4 under 19th-year head coach John Bluem. They have opened their home field 13 times under the current regime, going 7-3-3 in those outings. 

ABOUT THE WOLSTEINS
The annual Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic, now in its tenth year, is named in honor of the family that first brought professional soccer to Ohio in 1979. From 1979-1988, the late Bert Wolstein (2004) was the owner and president of the Cleveland Force of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Since them, the Wolstein support of Ohio State has been nothing short of generous. The most recent major act of a giving was a $1.5 million gift to the Department of Athletics, resulting in the naming of the field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, as part of a $4.9 million total gift to the university in September 2012. The Wolsteins previously made a major contribution in 2001 to the Ohio Stadium renovation project, prompting the dedication of the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Football Center in the southwest tower. 

EARLY BIRDS
The Buckeyes are 17-8-7 all-time in their early season home tournament, including an 8-2-6 mark the last eight seasons. Ohio State has captured the tournament six times (2006-2009, 2011 and 2012), winning the tournament two out of the last five years.  Last year, the team collected two double overtime draws against UC Davis and Butler. Zach Mason was named to the tournament squad in 2012, while Tyler Kidwell and Liam Doyle were named to the list in 2014. 

BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL

  •  Ohio State returns nine starters, including senior back Liam Doyle, who was named a 2014 first team All-Big Ten selection, while sophomores Marcus McCrary and Hunter Robertson earned All-Freshmen Team laurels. Junior forward Danny Jensen returns after garnering a season-high 13 points (6g, 1), while senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson comes back after notching 11 points (4g, 3a) in his first season as a Buckeye last year.
  •  Doyle, Jensen and Culbertson were each named to the Big Ten Preseason to Watch List last week.
  •  The Buckeyes were picked fifth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll behind Maryland, Indiana, Penn State and Michigan State.
  •  Zach Mason will once again be captain for the Scarlet and Gray along with Doyle and junior back Tyler Kidwell.
  •  Doyle was selected as a third team preseason All-American by com.
  •  Ohio State is receiving votes (30) in the NSCAA Division I Preseason Poll. Seven 2015 opponents are ranked in the preseason poll, while 10 opponents are receiving votes. Ohio State is ranked No. 28 in the first poll by com.
  •  The Buckeyes’ next home match will be their conference opener hosting Penn State Sept. 20 in Columbus.

SCOUTING CAL STATE FULLERTON
Cal State Fullerton was picked to finish third in the Big West Preseason Poll announced last week. The Titans welcomed 17 newcomers to the program in 2015, including 11 freshmen and six junior-college transfers after losing 12 seniors from the 2014 squad that claimed the Big West Tournament Championship. Cal State Fullerton finished 10-8-6 overall under first-year head coach George Kuntz and claimed the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament before falling to San Diego in double overtime to conclude their 2014 season.

This will be the fourth meeting between Ohio State and Fullerton. The Buckeyes lead the series, 2-1-0, after defeating the Titans, 1-0, during the 2009 edition of the Wolstein Classic.

A LOOK AT BINGHAMTON
Head coach Paul Marco welcomed 14 returners and 17 newcomers to the 2015 season. Last year, Binghamton (5-14-1) advanced to the America East semifinals for the first time since 2008. Junior goalkeeper Robert Moewes will lead the team this year after posting 77 saves and a .802 save percentage in 2014. Moewes is on the Hermann Trophy Watch List and was the America East Goalkeeper of the Year.

Ohio State last faced Binghamton in 2011 and holds a 2-0-0 mark in the series.

SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Following a 12-7-2 campaign in 2014, the Wright State Raiders return three of their Top 5 scorers from a year ago, including Horizon League Player of the Year Eric Lynch. The junior led the nation in assists (13) and collected 27 points to help lead the Raiders to the Horizon League Tournament Final. The 12 victories by Wright State were the most wins in a season since 2001.

TALENTED INCOMING CLASS
The Buckeyes added 10 new faces to the 2015 fall season. The 2015 incoming class was ranked ninth in the nation by CollegeSoccerNews.com, which is the highest-rated class in school history, and 12th in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com. The 2015 incomers consists of: junior transfer Yaw Amankwa (Damascus, Md.), senior transfer Chris Froschauer (Union, Ky.), freshman Parker Siegfried (Granville, Ohio), sophomore transfer Nate Kohl (Hilliard, Ohio), freshman Greg Solawa (Niles, Ill.), freshman Abdi Mohamed (Worthington, Ohio), freshman Jack Freeman (Kansas City, Mo.), redshirt freshman transfer Jacob Duska (Erie, Pa.), freshman Alex Nichols (Fishers, Ind.) and freshman Nathan Zanzig (Green, Ohio).

BUCKEYES ON BTN
Ohio State has at least two appearances on BTN this season in two Big Ten road matches. Ohio State will travel to face Michigan State Oct. 4 live on the network before a trip to Rutgers Oct. 25 in Piscataway, N.J. Seven home matches will be streamed on BTN Plus, while three games will be on Buckeye Vision (Louisville, Wisconsin and Cleveland State) on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The semifinals and the final of the Big Ten Championship, hosted by the higher seeds, will be shown live on BTN.

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 Sept. 20 vs. Penn State. Admission is free to all Ohio State men’s soccer regular-season home games.

THE COACHING STAFF
Ohio State is under the direction of 19th-year head coach John Bluem. The 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Bluem has guided the team to nine NCAA Tournament appearances (2000-01-04-05-07-08-09-10-14), three Big Ten championships (2000-07-09) and a College Cup Final in 2007. Bluem’s career record sits at 266-161-64 (.610) and has claimed four conference coach of the year awards (most by an active B1G coach).

Associate head coach Frank Speth is in his 17th year with the Scarlet and Gray, while Ian Gordona enters his second season as an assistant coach with the Buckeyes. Former Buckeye standout Matt Lampson will also be a volunteer assistant coach in his second year back with the program