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Nov. 4, 2003

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SETTING THE SCENE
The Ohio State men’s soccer team will conclude its regular season schedule Friday when the Buckeyes travel to No. 2 Maryland for a 7 p.m. contest. Ohio State will enter the Big Ten tournament, hosted by Indiana, as the No. 4 seed next Thursday, Nov. 13.

Ohio State (4-10-4, 2-3-1 Big Ten) is coming off a 1-0 loss to No. 25 Michigan last Saturday night in the Buckeyes’ final home and Big Ten match of the season. OSU seniors Matt McCune, Sam Migliano, David Ridenhour and AJ Weber were honored prior to the game for their contributions to Buckeye soccer, which have included two trips to the NCAA tournament and the 2000 Big Ten Championship.

Second-ranked Maryland defeated Virginia, 1-0, Friday night as the Terrapins clinched their first ACC regular season championship since 1971 and secured the top seed in the conference tournament for the first time since its inception in 1987. Maryland has now won 23 consecutive games on its home turf, Ludwig Field, dating back to the 2001 season.

Maryland, whose only loss occurred Oct. 5 at No. 5 North Carolina, owns both the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top-ranked offense and defense. The Terrapins have allowed just seven goals this season and have scored 35.

Ohio State owns the Big Ten’s second-ranked defense, allowing just 1.06 goals per game. Despite scoring a Big Ten-low 0.72 goals per game this season, the Buckeyes have out-shot their opponents 213-185. That statistic grew Saturday when Ohio State out-shot Michigan 13-5. Facing a highly ranked squad is nothing new for the Buckeyes this season. Ohio State opened the season against seven consecutive opponents that have all been ranked in at least one of the national polls, including No. 1 UCLA. A total of 14 schools on OSU’s 2003 schedule have appeared in a national poll at some point this season.

These two teams met last year in Columbus in the College Cup Preview Match Aug. 23 in Crew Stadium, with Maryland winning, 3-1. All four goals were scored in the first half, with Ohio State’s lone goal coming unassisted from then-senior Andy Rosenband.

BUCKEYES FOURTH IN BIG TEN
Ohio State is 2-3-1 in the Big Ten, good for fourth place in the league standings. The Buckeyes will carry the No. 4 seed into the Big Ten tournament, which will be hosted by Indiana, Nov. 13-16.

Ohio State will meet the tournament’s No. 5 seed Thursday, Nov. 13, at noon. That opponent will be either Wisconsin or Penn State, both of which Ohio State has defeated this season. The winner of the 4/5 game will meet the tournament’s No. 1 seed at 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14. The championship game will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16.

Earlier this season, Ohio State won its Big Ten opener for the 10th consecutive season. For the first time since 1992 Ohio State played its first two Big Ten contests away from Columbus.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State out-shot a visiting Michigan squad 13-5 Saturday night, but the 25th-ranked Wolverines scored a goal with 3:12 left to play to defeat the Buckeyes, 1-0, on Senior Night in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Ohio State out-shot Michigan (13-5-0, 5-1-0 Big Ten) 8-2 in the first half and 5-3 in the second half, but UM goalkeeper Peter Dzubay notched eight saves to deny the Buckeyes a win in their final home and Big Ten contest of the season.

“Our team battled hard the entire game and it’s a shame we had to give up a goal at the end,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “This team has come a long way this season and I am very proud of them.”

Michigan’s Bobby Trybula, who had taken just one shot all season entering tonight’s game, scored the game-winning goal for the Wolverines on a five-yard boot through a cluster of players and Ohio State sophomore goalkeeper Ray Burse, Jr., who ended the match with two saves. Michigan’s Kevin Taylor provided the assist on the play.

Ohio State, which now owns a 6-3 record all-time against Michigan when playing in Columbus, was aiming to pull off the win over the Wolverines, which have lost just twice in their last 13 matches, with both those losses coming against nationally ranked teams Akron and Indiana. “We fought hard all 90 minutes and never gave up,” senior AJ Weber said. “The ball just didn’t fall our way.”

COMMON OPPONENTS
Two common opponents, UCLA and Penn State, appear on both Ohio State’s and Maryland’s schedule this season. Both teams met UCLA early in the season when the Bruins were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Ohio State was defeated, 1-0, by UCLA on Aug. 31 at the Cal State-Fullerton Classic, while Maryland hosted UCLA on Sept. 5 and handed the Bruins a 1-0 loss, which remains UCLA’s only loss of the season. Maryland’s win over UCLA vaulted the Terrapins into the top-ranked spot in the national polls, which they held until their Oct. 5 loss at North Carolina.

Ohio State defeated Penn State, 3-1, in Columbus Oct. 12, while Maryland and Penn State met in Hershey, Pa., Oct. 16 with Maryland winning, 1-0.

BUCKEYE STAT LEADERS
Freshman Taylor Korpieski leads the team in points with six (two goals, two assists). Sophomore Dana York and junior Peter Withers both have five points. Junior Adam Schauer has fired a team-high 27 shots, while senior A.J. Weber is close behind with 26 and junior Sammy Tamporello has 23. In goal, sophomore Ray Burse has collected 47 saves and owns a 1.11 goals against average.

BUCKEYES-TERPS LIVE ON THE WEB
For live statistics of the Ohio State-Maryland match Friday, visit the men’s soccer schedule page at umterps.com. Live statistics of all Buckeye home matches is available at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

SCOUTING MARYLAND
No. 2-ranked Maryland clinched the ACC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament by defeating Virginia Friday, 1-0, bringing the Terrapins’ overall record to 15-1-0. Since the 2001 season, Maryland has won 23 consecutive games at Ludwig Field. Maryland leads the ACC in shots and goals, averaging 18.73 shots per game and 2.33 goals per game. Maryland’s goalkeeper, Noah Palmer is tops in the ACC in shutouts with seven. The Terrapins’ defense has allowed just seven goals this season, the fewest in the ACC.

Maryland returned 23 letterwinners this season and all 11 starters, including last year’s leading scorer, Abe Thompson, who has four goals and four assists this year. Maryland’s leading scorer this season, with six goals, is Sumed Ibrahim. The Terrapins finished 20-5-0 last season and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals, where they were defeated, 2-1, by eventual national champion UCLA.

MARYLAND COACH SASHO CIROVSKI
Sasho Cirovski is in his tenth year with Maryland. He holds a 145-76-9 record and has led the Terrapins to seven NCAA tournaments. Prior to his position at Maryland, Cirovski was the head coach at Hartford for two years. Cirovski holds an “A” coaching license from the U.S. Soccer Federation, as well as an Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

OHIO STATE COACH John Bluem
Entering his seventh season at the helm of Ohio State men’s soccer, head coach John Bluem has molded the program into one of the elite in the Big Ten while gaining respect nationwide. Since his arrival in 1997, he has led the Buckeyes to at least 10 wins in five of his six seasons, including consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001. Heading into the 2003 season, his .585 winning percentage is the highest in OSU history and his 63 wins are approaching the school record of 72 held jointly by Al Bianco (1979-86) and Gary Avedikian (1987-96).

Bluem is coming off a season during which his Buckeyes went 11-7-1 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten. Seniors Jake Traeger and Andy Rosenband were selected in the 2003 Major League Soccer Super Draft in January. In addition, the 2002 season was highlighted by a prestigious personal achievement for Bluem, who was inducted into the Hartwick College Hall of Fame.

Now in his 13th season as a collegiate head soccer coach, Bluem has taken his teams to the NCAA tournament six times. He has four Coach of the Year honors and one Regional Coach of the Year honor to his credit.

SERIES HISTORY AGAINST MARYLAND
Ohio State and Maryland met in preseason action last year on Aug. 23 in the College Cup Preview Match in Columbus Crew Stadium. The Terrapins scored three first half goals to notch a 3-1 win. Ohio State’s lone goal was scored by then-senior Andy Rosenband from a rebound off the post, which tied the match at 1-1 in the 16th minute. Maryland out-shot the Buckeyes 17-9 and held a 7-2 advantage on corner kicks. Abe Thompson scored Maryland’s first and third goals, while Nino Marcantonio collected the second. In regular season action, the Buckeyes and Terrapins have met just once before, that coming in the final regular season match of the 1997 season when Ohio State was handed a 2-1 loss by the Terrapins in RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Maryland out-shot Ohio State 20-7 and scored a pair of first half goals to secure the win. Chad Campbell scored Ohio State’s goal in the 75th minute off an assist from Brian Feldhaus. Jon Lowery had eight saves for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State is 0-8 all-time against members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

RIDENHOUR, NUGENT NOMINATED FOR CoSIDA ACADEMIC HONORS
Ohio State’s David Ridenhour and Kevin Nugent have been nominated for the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-America Team.

Ohio State’s 2003 captain, Ridenhour is a two-year starter at defender for the Buckeyes. He is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete. A marketing major, Ridenhour was named OSU’s Most Improved Player as a junior and has started in 32 consecutive matches. In 2002 he was named honorable mention Academic All-Ohio and is an officer on the OSU Student-Athlete Advisory Board.

Nugent, a starter at forward for the Buckeyes, tallied four goals last season, which ranked third on an OSU squad that finished 11-7-1 overall and tied for second in the Big Ten. A food business management major, Nugent is an OSU Scholar-Athlete.

THE 2003 BUCKEYES
Ohio State said goodbye to a talented senior class in the offseason, which included Tony Earp, Todd Grossnickle, John Tomaino, Jake Traeger and Andy Rosenband. Four of those players received All-Big Ten honors last season, as did then-junior Justin Cook, who will also be absent from the OSU lineup in 2003 because of an injury suffered in May.

Despite those losses, Bluem returns 19 letterwinners, including six players that started at least eight games last fall and a total of 10 players that started at least one game. Leading scorers back from last season include Sammy Tamporello (10 points), Kevin Nugent (8 points), Peter Withers (6 points), AJ Weber (6 points) and Jason Ryan (5 points).

The Buckeyes return three starters at the defender position, including seniors David Ridenhour and Matt McCune and junior Eric Schwebach. Ridenhour will serve as the Buckeye captain this year. In goal, junior Chad Brown, who posted a Big Ten-best eight shutouts in 2002, returns with sophomore Ray Burse, Jr.

For a complete season preview, visit the men’s soccer web site at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
In the annual Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll released Aug. 25, Ohio State is ranked fourth, tied with Michigan State. Indiana is ranked first, riding a conference undefeated streak of 36 games and coming off a 27th all-time and 16th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll 1. Indiana 2. Penn State 3. Michigan 4. Ohio State Michigan State 6. Wisconsin 7. Northwestern

COACH BLUEM COMMENTS
Nov. 3, on the Michigan game
“We played a bit defensive and they played with more of an attacking framework, but I thought we still created better scoring chances throughout the game. It was a great effort by our players and a great effort by the seniors. All of our seniors had very strong games and it’s just too bad we couldn’t get a result.”

Nov. 3, on the upcoming Maryland game
“We have played a lot of good teams this year, so I know the guys won’t go into the game thinking we’re going to get out-played. The guys should be loose and relaxed.

“Maryland is a very explosive, attacking team with some players that can really motor and who are dangerous all the time. I liken them to the SMU team that we saw earlier this year. All the players are capable of coming forward with speed and playing good soccer. We’re a good defensive team. Yeah we’ve given up 19 goals in 18 games this year – that’s not great but it’s not too bad, either. We’ve had past years where we have given up fewer goals, but we haven’t been under as much pressure as we have been this year all season long. If we have a good defensive effort we’ll keep ourselves in the game and do the best we can.”

Nov. 3, on the upcoming Big Ten tournament
“We have to go out there and get past the first round. For two years now we have lost in the quarterfinals, so I think it’s time for Ohio State to step up to the table and win a quarterfinal match and prove that our No. 4 seed isn’t a mistake.”

PLAYER COMMENTS
Matt McCune
Nov. 3, on the Michigan game
“They’re obviously a very good team and a very athletic team and I think we proved that we can stay right with them. We’ve been proving that all season long. It does give us some momentum heading into Maryland and then the Big Ten tournament, that is what we were looking for – to play well and gain some momentum and I think we accomplished that.”

Nov. 3, on the upcoming Maryland game
“We’re really looking forward to playing Maryland. Anytime you get to play anybody in the Top 10 it’s awesome. I’m sure they’ll have a nice crowd, so we’re very excited.

“We played them in the preseason last year and they didn’t lose anybody, so we know a little bit about their individual players. Obviously they’re an excellent team so we’re just going to go in there and give it our all.”

David Ridenhour
Oct. 28, on Senior Night
“The four of us have been here four years and we won a Big Ten title in Jesse Owens (Memorial Stadium). There are a lot of good memories there. This season has not had as many good memories, but overall it’s been great. I couldn’t have asked for more and I don’t think any of the other seniors could either.”

Oct. 28, on the Big Ten tournament
“We can definitely make a run in the Big Ten tournament. We’ve played well the past few weeks but at times just haven’t been able to get in a goal, but if things start going our way we can definitely win three games in a row. We could have done it at any point this season but didn’t get the breaks.”

BUCKEYE PROMOTION NOTES
At the conclusion of every Ohio State home match, Buckeye players will be available for autographs at the south end of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Kids, to register for your chance to be an honorary captain at a future Buckeye home men’s soccer game, visit ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

FOLLOW THE BIG TEN ON-LINE
For the latest news from around the Big Ten, check out www.bigten.org for players of the week, statistics, schedules, results and records.

NEXT UP FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State will enter the Big Ten tournament Thursday, Nov. 13 at Noon against either Wisconsin or Michigan State. In the tournament, hosted by Indiana, the Buckeyes will own the No. 4 seed. The winner of the 4/5 contest will meet the No. 1 seed at 5 p.m., Friday. The Big Ten championship game will kick off at 2 p.m., Sunday.