COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Crew defeated the defending Big Ten champion Ohio State men’s soccer team, 4-0, Tuesday night in the ninth annual Connor Senn Memorial Game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in front of 1,507 fans.
With the monies raised from ticket sales and silent auction items, the Connor Senn Memorial Fund surpassed the $170,000 mark after nine years and is now a fully-endowed scholarship at The Ohio State University. Some of the big ticket items from the auction Tuesday were Ohio State football tickets, Evan Turner autographed photos and weekend stays at area hotels.
Back on the field, Jason Garey led the Crew, who is undefeated in Major League Soccer play through four games, with four goals on the night. For the Buckeyes, Konrad Warzycha, the son of Crew head coach Robert Warzycha, registered three of the team’s five shots on the day, while goalkeepers Matt Lampson and Ryan Dalton combined for nine saves.
The game started off with what looked to be an even match with the teams swapping possession for much of the first 15 minutes. The Crew, however, was the first to strike. Garey opened scoring in the 16th minute off of a cross from forward Emilio Renteria, sending the ball into the lower right 90 off a diving shot along the left side of the goal box.
Garey, a Maryland alum, continued the scoring with the second goal for the Crew unassisted in the 30th minute. The Crew were fast to pounce on the defensive breakdown by the Buckeyes and scored again quickly in the 31st minute. Forward Sergio Herrera connected on a pass from Renteria with his scored assist for the night.
Despite the Crew tallies, Lampson held a strong presence in goal for Ohio State and collected four saves by the 30th minute of action.
The Buckeyes regained composure, quickly evening out the game once again and play continued to switch possessions for the remainder of the half. Buckeye forward Joshua Breto had a near goal in the 44th minute, bouncing off Crew goalie Kevin Schoeni. Schoeni was able to regain the ball before a member of the Scarlet and Gray could attack again.
Konrad Warzycha began the second half for the Buckeyes with an early shot-on-goal; however, Schoeni was able to get in front of the ball for the save. Ohio State started strong in the second half, keeping possession of the ball for the majority of the first 20 minutes. The Crew defense proved to be too strong though, batting away many of Ohio State’s attempts at the goal inside the box.
The Crew furthered their lead during the 73rd minute when Renteria, with his third assist, placed the ball at the feet of Garey, who shot the ball into the back left of the net for his third goal on the night.
The Crew outshot the Buckeyes 23-5. Buckeye goalkeeper Lampson had four saves in the first half and redshirt sophomore Dalton came in for Ohio State in the second period, tallying five stops. Schoeni was the lone goal keeper for the Crew and made two saves.
Although the Crew defeated the Buckeyes 4-0, both teams will say the score of the match does not matter. The true victory of the Connor Senn Memorial game is keeping alive the memory of a former Buckeye who passed away playing the game he loved.
ABOUT CONNOR SENN
Connor Senn was a freshman walk-on for the Buckeyes who quickly worked his way into the starting lineup in 2001. During the match against the Akron Zips on September 26, 2001, Senn collapsed on the field and died later in the hospital due to a congenital heart defect.
The Buckeyes continue to surround their team with Senn’s memory with the team motto “Play Like Connor Today.” His presence is felt in the locker room with his chair hanging on the wall, signed by all members of the 2001 team with a personal message to Senn. A plaque honoring the Buckeye hangs outside the Ohio State locker room as well.