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Nov. 2, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – At the Big Ten men’s soccer postseason banquet Thursday night, four Buckeyes took home all-conference honors, including three who were named first-team All-Big Ten. They will lead Ohio State (10-6-3) into a Big Ten semifinal game against Michigan (6-9-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Junior forward Xavier Balc (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) was a unanimous first-team selection, the only Buckeye and one of only five to earn a vote on every ballot. Joining Balc on the first-team were Ohio State’s two central defenders, senior Dustin Kirby (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and junior Eric Brunner (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto/Maryland). OSU senior Taylor Korpieski (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) was named to the All-Big Ten second-team midfield.

Balc scored his seventh goal of the season Thursday, tied for most in the Big Ten, in Ohio State’s 3-1 quarterfinal win over Michigan State. His eight assists are most in the league and he also ranks first in shots (68). Balc’s 20 career assists are already an Ohio State record.

Kirby and Brunner have helped the Buckeyes to nine shutouts this season, which are tied for most in the conference, and to a 0.81 goals against average, which ranks second in the Big Ten. Kirby, a co-captain and a second-team All-Big Ten pick last year, has played all 1,769 minutes this season for the Buckeyes and scored the game-winning goal to beat Wisconsin. Brunner owns two goals and an assist this season, with one of his goals being the game-winner to beat Louisville.

Korpieski, Ohio State’s attacking midfielder, collected his fourth assist of the season Thursday, that coming on the Buckeyes’ game-winning goal by Balc. Also a second-team All-Big Ten pick as a sophomore, Korpieski also owns a goal this season and his 14 career assist are tied for sixth in OSU history.

In addition, senior Rob Strachan (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) was Ohio State’s recipient of the Big Ten sportsmanship award. A starter at midfielder and defender in his career, Strachan has played in 64 games for the Buckeyes and made 30 starts.

### GO BUCKS! ###