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Oct. 23, 2002

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Columbus, Ohio– The Ohio State men’s soccer team (9-5-0, 2-2-0) will take on two non-conference opponents this weekend during the last home weekend of the 2002 season. The Buckeyes will play host to Alabama A&M (9-4-1, 2-0-0) at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Western Illinois (7-7-0, 2-1-0) at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Senior Day
Five Buckeye seniors will be honored prior to the game on Sunday against Western Illinois. Those seniors include Todd Grossnickle, Tony Earp, John Tomaino, Jake Traeger and Andy Rosenband.

Quotes From the Coach
“This weekend marks the final two regular season home games and the players are anxious to get some good results,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “As the season reaches its final stages, it’s still the same for us in terms of our preparation. We are taking one game at a time and preparing for that match as though it’s the most important game of the season. We have been successful this year with this approach and there is no need to look forward beyond the next opponent. Good results on a day to day basis and consistency in performance is our goal.”

Scouting the Bulldogs
Alabama A&M is 9-4-1 overall entering its game with the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs have recorded wins over IUPUI, IPFW, Vanderbilt, San Jose State, George Mason, James Madison, Birmingham Southern, Kentucky and Lipscomb. Its four losses have come at the hands of Santa Clara, Brown, Yale and Cincinnati including a tie with Wright State.

A&M Last Time Out
The Cincinnati Bearcats used three second-half goals to upend Alabama A&M, 3-1, Sunday at Meyers Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early one goal lead when Wilbur Musika scored off a set from the top of the box in the 9th minute. Eugene Sepuya received the assist on the goal. The Bearcats took six shots in the first half compared to A&M’s one, but the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead into the intermission. The A&M defense, however, was unable to hold of a strong offensive surge in the second half, allowing three goals in the 3-1 loss. The Bearcats outshot A&M 16-3 on the day.

The Series
The Buckeyes and Bulldogs will meet for the fourth time in the series history Friday. OSU is 1-2 all-time against the Alabama A&M. The last meeting between the two schools was in 1991 in Dayton, Ohio, a 2-0 Bulldog victory. OSU’s only win was in 1987 in Bowling Green, Ohio where the Buckeyes emerged victorious, 2-0.

The Leathernecks
The Western Illinois Leathernecks have compiled a 7-7-0 (2-1, Mid-Continent Conference) record so far in 2002. The team comes into Columbus on full stride of a three-game win streak.

On offense, the team has been led for the second-consecutive season by junior forward Justin Langan. Langan has scored 15 points this season (7 G, 1 A). The mark is just one point shy of his team-leading 16 points from a season ago. Langan already has eclipsed his total of five goals from 2001.

Midfielder Lorenzo Zignango and Bob Wallace have aided in the offensive front putting up 10 and nine points, respectively.

Defensively, the Leathernecks are powered by junior Jake Horn and sophomore Andy Swentik who have helped hold opponents to just three goals in Western Illinois’ last three games.

In goal, time has been equally shared by a duo of young keepers. Sophomore Armen Tonianse and freshman Chris Frenz have each seen action in ten matches. Frenz has had the most success, playing just over 654 minutes and compiling a 5-3-0 record off of a 0.69 goals-against-average.

WIU head coach Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson is nearly complete with his sixth season at the helm of men’s soccer at Western Illinois and his 11th season overall.

In just five seasons in the books, Johnson already is a two-time Mid-Continent Coach of the Year.

Overall, Johnson has led Leatherneck teams to a 40-62-3 record, and a 73-115-8 record overall.

Prior to his tenure at Western Illinois, Johnson was head coach at Loras College (IA) for five season, where he was names the 1996 Iowa Intercollegiate Athetics Conference Coach of the Year.

Western Last Time Out
Western Illinois extended its winning-streak to three with a 3-2 win in double-overtime against Missouri-Kansas City Oct. 20.

The Leathernecks were powered on by forward Justin Langan, who scored two goals during regulation and assisted on the game-winner for an outstanding five-point afternoon. The golden goal was the first of the season for Western midfielder Daniel Bustos.

Leathernecks vs. Big Ten
Western Illinois has met one Big Ten opponent thus far this season. The Leathernecks took on Northwestern, Sept. 4. In a closely contested match-up, the Wildcats scored the lone goal of the game in the 69th minute to take the match, 1-0.

First Time For Everything
Sunday afternoon will mark the first meeting between Western Illinois and Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are undefeated overall against teams in the Mid-Continent Conference at 5-0. Ohio State has mounted a 2-0 record over Valparaiso and are 3-0 against Oakland, including a 3-0 victory over the Grizzlies earlier this season on Oct. 16.

OSU-Indiana Recap
The Ohio State men’s soccer team suffered a tough loss to No. 4 Indiana Oct. 20, 4-2, in front of 1,021 fans at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the loss the Buckeyes’ record falls to 2-2-0 in the Big Ten and 9-5-0 overall. The Hoosiers improve their record to 12-1-2 and 6-0-0 in Big Ten play.

The win clinches the Big Ten regular season championship for Indiana, its seventh-consecutive regular season title.

A slow start plagued the Buckeyes as the Hoosiers nearly scored 11 seconds into the match when Indiana stole Ohio State’s kickoff and drove down field. Indiana senior forward Pat Noonan’s shot struck the crossbar and was cleared by the Ohio State defense.

The Hoosiers would find the goal, however, in the 16th minute when sophomore Ned Grabavoy shot a rebound from the top of the 18-yard box past Buckeye goalkeeper Chad Brown Indiana would gain momentum and strike again in the 25th minute when Ryan Mack headed in a pass from Noonan to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Peter Withers would give the Buckeyes life early in the second half when he knocked in a rebound off of Hoosier goalkeeper Jay Nolly to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Buckeyes momentum would be short lived, however, as the Hoosiers would pad their lead in the 57th minute when senior defender John Swann headed in a corner kick to give Indiana a 3-1 lead.

Indiana and Ohio State would each add goals in the final 30 minutes of play to bring the game to a close with the Buckeyes on the short side of a 4-2 final. Ohio State’s second goal was scored in the final 30 seconds of play when sophomore Sammy Tamporello notched his third goal of the season from 20-yards out on a shot deflected by an Indiana defenseman.

The Buckeyes
Senior forward Andy Rosenband is the leading goal scorer for the Buckeyes thus far in 2002. He has posted 15 points (5 G, 5 A), including three game-winners and 17 shots-on-goal. Rosenband is fourth in the conference in shots (45) and shots per game (3.21). Junior forward Justin Cook has recorded four assists, four goals and 11 shots-on-goal. Cook is 10th in the Big Ten in shots (27) and eighth in assists (4). Sophomore Sammy Tamporello scored two goals last week against Oakland and Indiana to bring his goal total to three goals and one assist for seven points. Freshman forward Kevin Nugent has played in all 14 games as well, recording three goals in his young freshman season for six points. Also coming on of late is sophomore Peter Withers who scored the game winning goal in overtime against Louisville (10-9) and also notched a goal against the Hoosiers. He has two goals and one assist for five points. Co-captain Tony Earp and Jason Ryan also have two goals and one assist on the season and A.J. Weber and Matt McCune have one goal each. Weber also has four assists for a total of six points.

Jake Traeger, David Ridenhour and Eric Schwebach have been a solid force on the back line all season, making life a little easier for goalkeeper Chad Brown. All three have started all 14 games this season, with Schwebach recording an assist.

Brown (8-5-0) has started 12 of the team’s 14 matches, recording 26 saves in over 1,113 minutes of play. Brown is second in the conference with six shutouts. Brown has shared time with red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Jason Wimmert who is 1-0 with four saves in 180 minutes of play.

Buckeyes Among Top Three In Several Categories
Ohio State is among the top three in several Big Ten statistical categories. The Buckeyes are tied for first with Indiana in cornerkicks with 85. They are second in the conference in shots (201), goals allowed (13), goals allowed per game (0.93) and shutouts (7).

Bluem Honored
John Bluem, Ohio State head men’s soccer coach, was one of six alums of Hartwick College inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Shineman Chapel on the Hartwick campus in Oneonta, N.Y.

“I am deeply honored, and humbled, by this induction to the Hartwick Athletic Hall of Fame,” Bluem said. “The education I received at Hartwick and the athletic experience that I enjoyed there has been a cornerstone of my life.”

Bluem, who was best known for his defensive play as a stopper, was a three-year starting fullback while playing for Hartwick from 1972-74. In his three seasons at Hartwick, the team compiled a 30-9-7 record, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament all three years. The 1974 team, of which Bluem was a member, reached the Final Four and finished third in the nation.

Bluem In Sixth Year at OSU
Now in his sixth year at the helm of Ohio State men’s soccer, John Bluem is looking for his Buckeye to earn their third-consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament. Last season Bluem saw his Buckeyes earn their second-consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament and their first ever at-large bid. Bluem also led his team to its highest ranking in program history, a No. 10 ranking in the NSCAA/adidas Men’s Division I National Poll.

Bluem’s Buckeyes jumped out of the starting blocks fast in 2002, capturing the Scarlet and Gray Classic championship with impressive wins over East Carolina and Richmond. The Buckeyes then lost its next three games by very close margins to No. 7 Loyola Marymount, Fresno State and No. 24 American. Then Ohio State caught fire, winning six-consecutive matches against Villanova, Bowling Green, Wisconsin, Akron, Michigan State and Louisville. The Buckeyes’ win streak was then snapped, falling to Penn State, 1-0. The team then rebounded, defeating Oakland, 3-0 before falling to the No. 4 Indiana Sunday, 4-2.

Tomaino Three Away From Assist Record
Senior midfielder John Tomaino needs just three assists to become OSU’s all-time assists leader. He remains one behind Mark Sotherden and two behind Brooks Humphreys and Bill Clegg.

OSU All-Time Assist Leaders Assists Total Years 1. Bill Clegg 17 1982-85 Brooks Humphreys 17 1997-2000 3. Mark Sotherden 16 1991-94 4. John Tomaino 15 1999- 5. Drew Kleinschmidt 14 1980-83 6. Brian Feldhaus 12 1997-2000 Dave Spitz 12 1983-86 8. Todd Young 11 1987-89 David Cass 11 1989-92

Bluem Closing In On 150 Wins
Head coach John Bluem is just three wins away from recording his 150th career win as a head coach. Bluem compiled an overall record of 86-27-12 (.736) in six years as the mentor at Fresno State. His overall career record sits at 147-68-23.

Follow The Buckeyes Online
Information on the Ohio State men’s soccer team and the 35 other Buckeye sports is available online at the official website of the Ohio State Athletic Department, ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Next Up
The Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. for a showdown with the Michigan Wolverines at 1 p.m. Sunday Nov. 3. The team then will wrap up the regular season in Evanston, Ill. when they face the Northwestern Wildcats at noon (central time) Sunday, Nov. 10. The 2002 Big Ten Tournament will be hosted by Penn State University in State College, Pa., Nov. 14-17.