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Sept. 21, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Danny Jensen registered the first Ohio State hat trick in four years as the men’s soccer team downed Valparaiso, 4-1, Wednesday night in the 15th-annual Connor Senn Memorial Match at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Jensen, from Weston, Fla., posted a career-high seven points with an assist to go along with his three goals as the Buckeyes improved their record to 3-5 on the season, while the Crusaders drop to 2-2-2.

“Danny had a great game and really got us going in the first half,” head coach John Bluem said. “His energy was tremendous. His work defensively, regaining the ball and creating the attacks were super. I think our game is starting to get better. These last two games I’ve felt more comfortable about our attacking play and defensively as well. I think the play of Nate Kohl in the striker position has been exceptional. He’s very dangerous and draws two defenders wherever he goes. Ben Fitzpatrick is starting to play extremely well on the flank for us too. The front four is really starting to click together now.”

Jensen becomes the first Buckeye to record a hat trick since Austin McAnena scored three goals in a 4-1 win over Butler on Sept. 26, 2012. Nate Kohl scored the fourth Buckeye goal on the night to go along with an assist, while Christian Soldat recorded two assists. Ben Fitzpatrick and Abdi Mohamed registered an assist in the team’s third straight home win of the year. In all, the Buckeyes collected a season-high 14 points in the box score.

“Honestly, balls were just bouncing my way tonight,” Jensen said. “It was little touches that ended up on my foot. We probably could have scored three times on the last goal, but somehow I ended up with the score. The team played well overall and things were clicking for us tonight.”

CONNOR SENN MEMORIAL MATCH
The match was the Buckeyes’ Connor Senn Memorial Game, which raises awareness to sudden cardiac arrest to benefit the Connor Senn Memorial Fund and the Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute at the Wexner Medical Center. A moment of silence took place in remembrance of Connor Senn, a freshman on the OSU squad who passed away during a match at Akron Sept. 26, 2001, from a congenital heart defect.  At halftime, a $15,000 check was presented to the Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute. These funds were a result of donations given by fans at Connor Senn Memorial Games, while Jensen was the recipient of the Connor Senn Scholarship.

“Every year, this is a special match and it means a lot to have a game like I did tonight in front of the people who have supported this match and the Connor Senn Scholarship,” said Jensen.  

HAT TRICK FOR JENSEN
It didn’t take long for Jensen to find the back of the net. In the fifth minute, he headed in a beautiful far cross by Mohamed at 4:27 for the 1-0 lead. Soldat also recorded an assist on the scoring play. Eight minutes later, Jensen scored his second of the night when Soldat gained possession at midfield and sent a looping ball to Kohl, who one-touched it by a Crusader defender nicely. Jensen then received the ball right next to Kohl and used his speed to beat a second defender inside the box before finishing a shot past goalkeeper Nico Campbell at 20:19. Following halftime, Jensen finished off the hat trick with a rebounded strike in front of goal at 49:51. It finished off a series of close calls in a crowded box full of white jerseys. At least two shots hit the post before it eventually found the foot of Jensen on the near side.

KOHL SCORES HIS THIRD GOAL
Kohl, from Hilliard, Ohio, scored his third goal of the season in the 21st minute and is really starting to become a problem for opposing backlines. After a through ball by Jensen at midfield, Fitzpatrick sent a no-look, heel-kicked pass inside the box back to Kohl, who dialed up a strike into the back right corner of goal at 20:19. Everything seemed to be clicking between the Buckeye forwards by that point with a commanding 3-0 lead headed into halftime.

SIEGFRIED HONORS CONNOR
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried improved to 3-5 overall, tying his season-high with six saves. He denied the Crusaders five times in the second half. Siegfried, who played at Connor Senn’s high school in Granville, Ohio, was proud to perform well on a special night for the program.

“I’ve always looked forward to playing in this game and honoring Connor,” Siegfried said.  “It means a lot.”

UP NEXT
Ohio State travels to face Bowling Green at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.

MATCH NOTES

  •  Ohio State improves to 5-0-2 all-time vs. Valparaiso.
  • The Buckeyes earn their first non-conference win of the season.
  • Ohio State improves its home win streak to three-consecutive matches.
  • The Buckeyes registered a season-high 14 points.
  • Jensen recorded the first hat trick in four years with career-high seven points in his 60th career start.
  •  Jensen jumped to eighth on the OSU career points list (48), passing former Buckeye Chris Hegngi (2009-12).
  •  Jensen is now tied with Hegngi for ninth the OSU career goals list (18). He is tied for 10th on the OSU career assists list with Geoff Marsh (2005-08) with 13 helpers.
  • Kohl picked up a season-high three points with his third goal of the year and first assist of his Buckeye career.
  •  Soldat collected a season-best two points in his first two-assist game of his career.
  • Fitzpatrick notched his assist as a Buckeye, while Mohamed picked up his first assist of the season.