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Aug. 30, 2003

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team began the 2003 season Friday night at the Cal State-Fullerton Soccer Town Classic in Fullerton, Calif., where the Buckeyes fell to host Cal State-Fullerton 1-0.

After a scoreless first half, the hosts scored the game’s lone goal at the 67:05 mark as Nacho Cid connected on the game-winner on a rebound off OSU goalkeeper Ray Burse, Jr. (Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier). Hector Orellana was credited with the assist.

“It was a tough loss,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “But it was good from the standpoint we played hard and battled to the end in a close game against a solid opponent.”

Ohio State midfielder Peter Withers (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) led the Buckeye offense with three shots. Ohio State totaled 10 shots in the match, while Cal State-Fullerton was credited with 17.

Burse notched one save in 90 minutes of action in goal for the Buckeyes.

In the opening match of the Classic, defending national champion UCLA topped defending Big Ten tournament champion Penn State 5-2. Ohio State will meet UCLA Sunday at 5 p.m. (PST).

“We will find out against UCLA if we going to sustain the battle for 90 minutes,” Bluem said of the Buckeye’s Sunday match up. “We will play hard and stay with them for as long as possible and try to keep it to a one-goal game. If it is at the end and we can get a goal then we might be able to pull off the upset.”

In scouting UCLA during the opening contest, Bluem noted that the Bruins appear to be even stronger than Ohio State’s opponent in last week’s College Cup Preview Match in Columbus Crew Stadium. He also said the Buckeyes appear to playing much better than they did in the 5-0 loss in that contest.

“We played a much better a game (Friday vs. Cal State-Fullerton) than we did against SMU last week,” Bluem said. “Our determination was much stronger and the heart was there to win it, but we were not good enough in the final third of the game. We didn’t create enough good opportunities to score, and the ones we did create we did not capitalize on.”