Watch interviews with John Bluem and co-captains Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha by clicking on the arrow in the photo above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team begins play in the second round of the NCAA Tournament as the No. 16 seed against Providence at 1 p.m. Sunday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes received a bye in the opening round and will take on the Friars, who defeated St. Peter’s, 6-2, Thursday afternoon in the program’s first home NCAA contest.
Ohio State (10-5-3) is making its fourth-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, third as a seeded team, and eighth overall. The Buckeyes have shutout their last four opponents, including a scoreless draw with Wisconsin in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament that concluded with the Badgers advancing on penalty kicks.
The Friars (13-5-3) ride a 10-game unbeaten streak (8-0-2) into the second round after their first-round dismantling of St. Peter’s. The streak includes a four-game stretch in the Big East Tournament, which they finished as the runner-up via penalty kicks to the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament Louisville.
GET ALL THE ACTION
Live: Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, tickets available day of game for $5 (students) and $8 (adults)
Web: Live stream through BuckeyeVision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com (Free)
Gametracker: Linked from the main page and men’s soccer schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Unbeaten Louisville is the No. 1 seed in the 48-team field for the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament, which began Thursday with first-round games. Maryland, Akron, North Carolina and SMU follow at 2-5. The Big East led all conferences with seven teams in the tournament field, while the Big Ten and ACC had five each. Four Big Ten teams earned Top 16 seeds, the most of any conference for the second season in a row.
The remaining 16 seeds in order are California, South Carolina, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan, Connecticut, William & Mary, Butler, Indiana, Penn State and Ohio State. Twenty-seven additional teams were selected at large. A total of 10 opponents from the Buckeyes’ 2010 schedule made the tourney field, including five seeded teams.
BUCKEYES IN THE NCAA TOURNEY
Ohio State is making its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, all with John Bluem at the helm, and fourth in a row. The Buckeyes have posted a 6-7-1 record in NCAA play, 4-2-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. As the No. 4 seed a year ago, Ohio State was upset in the second round by Drake, who went on to advance to the quarterfinals. The 2008 tournament run also ended in the second round with a 2-1 double overtime loss to Akron. The Buckeyes were the national runner-up in 2007.
ON THE LINE
The winner of Ohio State-Providence will face the winner of No. 1 Louisville vs. College of Charleston. The Cardinals and Cougars will play their second-round game at 7 p.m. Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
THE POWER OF FOUR
This year’s senior class of Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha is the first to make the NCAA Tournament in all four years of their careers. All eight of Ohio State’s appearances in the postseason have come in the last decade, including six of the last seven years with the only exception coming in 2006. The 2010 seniors went to the College Cup final as freshmen and followed up with back-to-back appearances in the second round.
With the win over Indiana in the regular-season finale Nov. 7, the Buckeyes posted the 18th 10-win season in program history. Eleven of those have come in 14 seasons under head coach John Bluem.
BUCKEYES … IN A NUTSHELL
Coming off a quarterfinal exit from the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State is on a four-game shutout streak with a 10-5-3 on the season with a final 4-2-0 record in conference play. Konrad Warzycha leads the Buckeyes with seven goals, including five game-winners, and has more than his total from the previous three seasons combined.
Sophomores Austin McAnena and Chris Hegngi are tied for second and third on the team in scoring with 11 (4g, 3a) and 10 (3g, 4a) points, respectively. Eight other Buckeyes have tallied at least one point this season, including goalkeeper Matt Lampson who earned an assist on the game-winner vs. Michigan State. In goal, Lampson ranks first among conference keepers and in the Top 10 nationwide with a 0.64 goals-against average, a .868 save percentage and 10 shutouts.
Ohio State holds a 73-25-15 record (.707) – 7-0-1 this season – in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1999, including at least six wins in each of the last four seasons, including 2010. The last time the Buckeyes went undefeated on their home grass was 1974 when they earned a 4-0-1 record in home contests (11-6-3 overall, head coach Al Bianco).
BIG TEN HARDWARE
David Tiemstra headlined the list of six Ohio State men’s soccer team members to receive awards at the annual Big Ten Tournament banquet Nov. 11 at the Mount Nittany Club at Beaver Stadium. The junior center back was named the conference’s defensive player of the year, becoming the second Buckeye in a row to bring home the honor.
Tiemstra also earned First Team All-Big Ten honors, as did senior midfielder Konrad Warzycha and sophomore goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Senior midfielder Matt Gold was tabbed a Second Team honoree, while Sage Gardner was named to the All-Freshman Team and Sam Scales rounded out the list of Buckeyes to pick up hardware with the Sportsmanship Award.
The NCAA match against Providence gives three seniors -Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha – at least one more chance to play on their home field. This trio of midfielders makes up one of the most successful classes in Ohio State history, starting their careers with a trip to the national championship game as freshmen and going on to capture Big Ten tournament titles in two of the last three years and the first outright regular-season title a year ago. They have earned a combined 49 wins thus far, which is tied for second for the most wins of any four-year class. The 2007 seniors posted 51.
MATT GOLD: A two-time team captain, he has started in 78 of 80 career games and contributed three goals and six assists over the course of his career. An aggressive central midfielder, he has logged the most minutes of any field player in each of his four seasons.
SAM SCALES: As a flank midfielder, he has started 49 of 75 career games and has 15 career assists to his credit, a mark that stands seventh all-time at Ohio State. He also has added five goals over the last four seasons, including a pair this season.
KONRAD WARZYCHA: He has started 55 of 73 career games and has scored seven goals to date, more than the previous three years combined, giving him 12 on his career. As a central midfielder, he also has added nine assists for 33 career points.
LAST TIME OUT
The second-seeded Ohio State men’s soccer team battled No. 7-seed Wisconsin to a scoreless draw in the Big Ten quarterfinal Nov. 11 at Jeffrey Field, but the Badgers came away with a 5-4 penalty kick advantage to advance to the semifinal round. Ohio State hit its first three penalty kicks, but missed the fourth attempt, putting Wisconsin in a position to capitalize. The Badgers converted on all five attempts.
The Scarlet and Gray had a commanding 30-5 shot advantage on the day, including 9-0 through the two overtime periods. Three Buckeyes – Matt Gold, Chris Hegngi and Sam Scales – posted six shots apiece, with Gold tallying two in the first overtime that were narrowly saved by Badger goalkeeper Max Jentsch. Buckeye ‘keeper Matt Lampson earned the shutout, his 10th of the season.
Generally know as a stingy defensive program, the 2010 Buckeyes have not disappointed. First Team All-Big Ten goalkeeper Matt Lampson and David Tiemstra, the 2010 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, represented the Buckeyes by earning a combined four conference defensive player of the week accolades this season. At center back, Tiemstra anchors the OSU defense that has kept the team at the top of the conference in goals-against average with 0.64 – the only sub-1.0 GAA in the Big Ten and the 15th-lowest in the NCAA – and goals allowed with 12.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Lampson has 10 shutouts to his credit this season, including one in each of the last four games, good for first in the conference, and 19 for the last two seasons, moving into third all-time on the career clean sheet chart in just his second season in a Buckeye uniform. He needs five to take over second place. His 0.868 save percentage not only tops the Big Ten, but is sixth in the nation.
HELP A GUY OUT
Sam Scales has developed a reputation of helping folks out on the field. He leads the Buckeyes with four assists this season and has 15 for his career, which ranks No. 7 all-time at Ohio State on the career chart.
GETTING BETTER WITH AGE
In his final season as a Buckeye, Konrad Warzycha has produced seven goals, which is more than his career total from the previous three seasons combined (five). The co-captain from Dublin, Ohio, earned three of his five scores on penalty kicks early in the season, while adding the other four vs. Bucknell, Valparais, Oakland and most recently Wisconsin. Five have stood as game-winning scores.
In the final RPI of the 2010 season, issued Nov. 14, Ohio State holds on to the No. 20 spot in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the most important of the criteria in selection to the 48-team NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes are 3-1-2 against teams ranked higher than them. Five Big Ten teams ended the year in the Top 20. The RPI is a mathematical formula designed to objectively compare results and strength of schedule.
The sophomore class represents on the Buckeyes’ greatest strengths on both ends of the field. Behind Warzycha’s team-leading seven goals, it is a pair of sophomores in second and third in scoring with Austin McAnena (4g, 3a) and Chris Hegngi (3g, 4a). Conversely, Matt Lampson controls play between the pipes and has all 10 of the team’s shutouts to his credit, giving him 19 through his first two seasons.
The Top 4 winningest senior classes in program history have come within the last four seasons, as the Buckeyes have risen within the Big Ten and national ranks to be a perennial contender. With at least one game remaining on the 2010 schedule, the current seniors – Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha – are in a position to finish as one of the successful classes of Buckeye soccer..
Winningest Senior Classes
RANK AND FILE
The Buckeyes fell out of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll Oct. 26 for the first time in 12 weeks, dating back to last season, and have not returned to the national spotlight since, despite an undefeated record (3-0-1). They are currently ranked No. 21 by Soccer America and are receiving votes in the other three major polls.
SCOUTING THE FRIARS
Providence advances to the second round of competition after blowing out St. Peter’s, 6-2, Thursday afternoon in Providence, R.I., to extend their unbeaten streak to 10 games (8-0-2), the longest such streak since 1984. It was the program’s second tournament win all-time and the first postseason matched played on the Friars’ home field. Wilder Arboleda and Matt Marcin each had two goals in the win, while single tallies were added by Toussaint McClure and Brian Grisell to produce the largest single-game scoring output since 1987 when Providence tallied six goals in a win over Northeastern.
Marcin has led the Friars all season, posting 10 goals and four assists for a team-leading 24 points. Marc Cintron is second overall in scoring off two goals and 10 assists, while Arboleda has five goals and three assists for 13 points. Jhojan Obando has started all 21 matches in goal, posting a 1.01 goals-against average with 98 saves and six shutouts. The Friars have given up 22 goals, including a season-high four vs. fellow Big Ten school Michigan State in a 4-0 loss Sept. 9.
Chaka Daley is in his 11th season as head coach of the Friars and has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four years. Prior to Daley’s tenure, Providence made the NCAA tourney field just once before.
This is the first meeting between Ohio State and Providence on the soccer pitch. The Buckeyes have faced 11 of the 16 teams currently in the Big East and have a 34-40-13 record against them. Earlier this season, Ohio State tied Louisville, 0-0, Sept. 22 in its lone game against a Big East program.
Head coach John Bluem is in his 14th season at the helm of the Buckeyes. The winningest coach in program history, he has 149 wins to his credit and holds a .583 winning percentage. In 20 years as a collegiate head coach, Bluem’s career record stands at 235-127-50 (.630), including six seasons at Fresno State.
A member of the Ohio State team was recognized by the Big Ten in five of nine weeks this season. Four of those have been defensive player of the week honors, divided between Lampson (three) and Tiemstra (one). Austin McAnena earned the lone offensive player of the week accolade of the year, marking the first offensive POW honor for a Buckeye since Nov. 9, 2009, when Tiemstra earned it for scoring the game-winner against Michigan to capture the Big Ten regular-season title.
Over 7,200 fans watched the Buckeyes battle to a 2-2 draw vs. Akron Wednesday, Sept. 29, shattering the previous record of 3,168 set against Michigan State during the 2008 season.
ONE AND DONE
All but two games this season – a pair of 2-0 wins vs. Buffalo and Oakland – have been decided by one goal or less. The Buckeyes own an 8-5-3 record in those contests.
YOUTH IS SERVED
For the seventh-consecutive season, at least one true freshman made his first collegiate start for the Buckeyes. In the opener vs. College of Charleston, both Sage Gardner and Omar Vallejo took the pitch as rookies with Vallejo tallying the assist on Chris Hegngi’s game-winner in the 24th minute.
True Freshmen in the Season Opener Starting Lineup
2010: Sage Gardner, D and Omar Vallejo, F
2009: Austin McAnena, M and Chris Hegngi, F
2008: David Tiemstra, D
2007: Matt Gold, M
2006: Doug Verhoff, M
2005: Geoff Marsh, M
2004: Xavier Balc, M and Casey Latchem, GK
Seniors and tri-captains Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha were named “Players to Watch” by the Big Ten conference last weekend. The senior class has combined for 43 wins over the last three-plus seasons and two of the last three Big Ten championships.
After winning both games of the Wolstein Classic Sept. 3 and 5, the Buckeyes are 15-7-4 all-time in their early-season tournament, including an 8-1-3 mark the last six seasons. Since 1991, Ohio State is 14-3-3 in its first home game of the year, while John Bluem is 7-2-2 in home season openers in his 14th season as head coach.
BIG GAMES, SMALL SCREEN
The Big Ten Network aired four of Ohio State’s regular-season games during 2010. The defending Big Ten champions took on Northwestern and Penn State on the road and Wisconsin and Indiana at home, all on tape delay.
Ohio State and Northwestern took to the field in Evanston, Ill., at 1 p.m. Oct. 10 with the game airing at 5 p.m., while the Buckeye-Nittany Lion matchup played at 3 p.m. Oct. 23 and shown on BTN at 7 p.m. Oct. 24. Ohio State welcomes Wisconsin to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for a 2 p.m. match on Oct. 31 with it airing at 7 p.m. Big Ten Network later picked up the Indiana game at 1 p.m. Nov. 7 (7 p.m. delay) as a wild card selection.
IN THE NIC OF TIME
Nic Rossi was added to the coaching staff as a volunteer assistant for the 2010 season. Rossi joined the Buckeyes after serving as an assistant coach at Stevens Institute of Technology for one season. Prior to his time at Stevens, Rossi was the director of soccer operations for the Brown soccer program from 2007-09.
The Buckeyes went 2-1 through exhibition play this preseason, knocking off Mount Vernon Nazarene, 2-1, Aug. 21 and Cleveland State, 3-1, Aug. 24, before falling to Notre Dame, 2-0, Aug. 28 in Fort Wayne, Ind. Sophomore Chris Hegngi has tallied two goals in exhibition play, finding the back of the net once in each contest, while Sam Scales and Matt Gold have each added single goals. Cleveland State gave up an own goal to account for the remaining Buckeye score.