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Oct. 4, 2014

RELATED INFO • Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook and Twitter  • Highlights • Box Score    COLUMBUS, Ohio  – The Ohio State men’s soccer team defeated its second Top 20 opponent in a four-day span, downing No. 17 Michigan State, 3-2, Saturday evening  at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the victory, the Buckeyes improve to 4-3-3 overall and 2-1-0 in conference play, snapping a four-match unbeaten streak for the Spartans (5-2-2, 1-1-1 B1G).     “I’m really happy for our guys and they deserved this victory tonight,” head coach John Bluem said. “I think we can cause a lot of teams some problems. We bend but we don’t break. It was great to see Marcus score tonight and hopefully this will build his confidence moving forward. I thought our defense held strong and responded late in the match to claim the win.”    Offensively, freshman Marcus McCrary scored his first career goal, while senior midfielder Yianni Sarris and junior back Liam Doyle also netted scores for the Scarlet and Gray against the Spartans, who allowed just one goal heading into the night contest. Sarris now has a team-best four goals, while Doyle collected his third of 2014.    McCrary, a native of Madison, Wis., netted his memorable goal in the 15th minute when he sped through the MSU backline and ripped in a shot past goalkeeper Zach Bennett from the near post.  Senior midfielder Ryan Ivancic set up McCrary with an accurate through ball at midfield for his first assist of the season.    “Ivancic set me up with a good opportunity and it feels great to finally get a goal,” McCrary said. “I put a great touch on the ball one-on-one with the keeper and I was able to hit it on target. We really stressed going forward and putting pressure on their center backs and it worked out tonight.”    Senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov came up with a key save in the 39th minute, denying Adam Montague with a great look at goal and improved to 4-3-3 overall this year. Following an MSU corner, Max Moller had a great chance to extend the Buckeye lead, but his shot on a breakaway chance went high over the crossbar in the 38th minute.  Ivancic posted a shot on target but a diving save by Bennett denied the OSU opportunity. At half, shots were 6-3 in favor of Ohio State.   After Michigan State tied the contest at 1-1 in the 62nd minute, the Buckeye offense regained the lead after capitalizing on a key MSU defensive miscue. Sarris gained possession in the box and fired in a shot into the back right of net at 71:30 on an unassisted score. The native of Mentor, Ohio, Sarris now has a career-high nine points.     “This is a huge win for us,” Sarris said. “I was lucky to catch a break for us and put one in the back of the net. I thought our confidence grew from that point and we got more chances. We are progressing well as a unit and hopefully we can continue this momentum next week.”    Just two minutes later, the Buckeyes struck again – this time off a rocket of a free kick from Doyle. The OSU center back struck a shot from 30 yards out and it deflected off an MSU defender before banging the top back of the net at 73:06 to push the team’s lead to 3-1.      “I really didn’t have the angle to cross it, so I decided to take a shot at net,” Doyle said. “Luckily I hit a deflection, but I thought it was one of the better shots I’ve taken this year and it ended up in the back of the net. It was a nerve-racking last 10 minutes, but we were able to finish strong.”   The Spartans didn’t go away quietly, however. A second MSU goal by Tim Kreutz at 75:35 on a header made it a one-score game with ten minutes left on the clock. But the Buckeye defense held its own, clearing away several late chances for the Green and White to claim the conference victory. With the win, the Buckeyes jump up to second in the Big Ten standings behind undefeated Penn State (4-0-0). 

Several alumni members were recognized at halftime of the contest as part of Alumni Day for the Buckeye men’s soccer team. Ohio State will next travel to Rochester, Mich., for a midweek contest at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 against Oakland. For game highlights, click the link above.