Sept. 26, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team came within 1:21 of forcing overtime at Kentucky Sunday afternoon, but the host Wildcats connected on a late goal to top the Buckeyes, 2-1, in Lexington, Ky. Ohio State falls to 3-4-1, while Kentucky improves to 6-2-1.
Ohio State freshman Xavier Balc (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) connected on a shot from 20 yards out in the 72nd minute to tie the match at 1-1 after Kentucky had claimed a 1-0 lead late in the first half.
“We didn’t have a good first half, but it would be fair to say we dominated the second half,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “We scored the equalizer midway through the second half and certainly deserved a draw out of the game today, but the result just didn’t go our way.”
Ohio State out-shot Kentucky 10-9 in the match, including 6-5 in the second half, and had eight corner kicks in the match compared to just one for the hosts. Six of Ohio State’s shots were on goal, compared to five for the Wildcats.
Balc’s goal was his third of the season as he had a team-high three shots in the match, all of which were on goal. On his scoring play, he drilled a shot from 20 yards out that found the back of the net just inside the left post.
“We gave up two bad goals,” Bluem said. “And in the second half they had eight or nine players back in the penalty area.”
OSU junior Ray Burse Jr. (Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier) collected three saves in goal but suffered his first defeat of the season (1-1-0).
With the win, Kentucky extended its unbeaten streak to seven matches (6-0-1), which ties its school record. The Wildcats opened the scoring in the 36th minute when Michael Strong took control of the ball from 18 yards out and maneuvered past Burse for the goal, which was assisted by Jamal Shteiwi. Strong then assisted on Kentucky’s game-winner with 1:21 when Jibran Shteiwi scored from six yards out. Kentucky entered the contest having posted eight more corner kicks than their opponents (43-35), but did not have one such restart attempt in the second half against the Buckeyes.
In its Big Ten opener, Ohio State will host Wisconsin at 2 p.m. next Sunday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
### GO BUCKS! ###