Aug. 18, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dominating play with a 25-7 shot advantage, the Ohio State men’s soccer team notched a 2-0 win over Bradley Friday at Crew Stadium in the College Cup Preview Match. The Buckeyes scored two second-half goals in their final preseason exhibition match and kept the Braves, an NCAA tournament team a year ago, without a shot on goal.
After a scoreless first half in which Ohio State held a 14-1 shot advantage, the Buckeyes went up by a goal less than five minutes into the second half. Junior Ryan Kustos (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) scored off a corner kick from junior Xavier Balc (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) with the help of a header flick from junior Eric Brunner (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto/Maryland). Then in the 77th minute senior Antonio Garcia (Santa Rosa, Calif./Montgomery/Santa Rosa CC) blasted an unassisted goal from 20 yards out to give Ohio State their final margin of victory.
“At halftime we talked about the fact it was difficult to play as well as we did in the first half yet not be ahead on the scoreboard,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “Psychologically it takes a lot to overcome that and our goal early in the second half was big. We’re obviously pleased with the result. Things went our way and it was another opportunity to look at some players and see some guys in different roles. We’re still trying to find the right combinations.”
The Buckeyes, aiming for their third-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, officially begin the season next weekend at home in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with the Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic hosted by The Ohio State University. There, OSU will face Hartwick at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Furman at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
OSU junior goalkeeper Casey Latchem (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) did not find himself in a save situation for the entire 90 minutes thanks in part to the defensive work in the back of senior co-captains Jim Fisher (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and Dustin Kirby (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), Brunner and sophomore Tim Gabel (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette).
At the 49:40 mark, Balc sent a line drive corner kick from the right corner into the 6-yard box that Brunner flicked backwards with a light header to the feet of Kustos, who tapped in OSU’s first goal of the night. Garcia later scored his goal unassisted as he controlled the ball near the sideline and, finding himself unmarked, drove to the upper right corner of the 18-yard box and sent a blast into the far left upper 90.
In addition to the work of the four starting defenders, OSU’s midfield of seniors Taylor Korpieski (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and Brent Rohrer (Springfield, Ohio/Catholic), sophomore Geoff Marsh (North Olmsted, Ohio/North Olmsted) and freshman Doug Verhoff (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) helped keep Bradley, who returns its Top 2 scorers from last year, from mounting many serious threats.
### GO BUCKS! ###