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Aug. 31, 2005

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GAMETRACKER LINKS
Friday – 09/02/2005
New Mexico vs. Penn State, 5:00 PM

Ohio State vs. Marquette, 7:30 PM

Sunday – 09/04/2005
Penn State vs. Marquette, 12:00 PM
Ohio State vs. New Mexico, 2:30 PM

SETTING THE SCENE
The 18th-ranked Ohio State men’s soccer team opens the 2005 regular season at home this weekend against Marquette and No. 8 New Mexico in the Ohio State Classic. The event, which begins Friday evening and concludes Sunday afternoon, will be held in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

No. 23 Penn State and New Mexico will kickoff the classic at 5 p.m. Friday followed by the Ohio State vs. Marquette match at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the Nittany Lions will face the Golden Eagles at noon, followed by the final match of the classic as the Buckeyes host the Lobos at 2:30. Ohio State has eight starters back from its 2004 squad that won a share of the Big Ten regular season title and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. RADIO AND GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE
Live stats via GameTracker will be available for all Ohio State home games and selected away matches at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. In addition, KBUX, OSU’s student radio station, will broadcast several of the Buckeyes’ home games this season, including Sunday vs. No. 8 New Mexico. Gavin Blair’s call can be heard live at undergound.fm.

BUCKEYES IN HOME OPENERS
The Buckeyes are 5-3 in home openers under ninth-year head coach John Bluem, but are looking to snap a two-game skid in their first home game. Both those losses, however, came at the hands of ranked teams, including No. 8 Wake Forest last season and No. 23 Tulsa in 2003.

THE OHIO STATE CLASSIC
The Ohio State classic has become an early season tradition for the Buckeyes, which lately have gone up against ranked teams in this event. Last season OSU faced No. 8 Wake Forest and No. 6 North Carolina, while this season No. 8 New Mexico joins Marquette in the tournament field. Except for the 2000 season, the Buckeyes have hosted an early season tournament every season since 1996. First known as the Ohio State/NIKE Classic, the event was then known as the Scarlet and Gray Classic before taking its current name in 2003. The Buckeyes are 9-6-1 all-time in the tournament.

OSU CELEBRATES YOUTH SOCCER MONTH
Sunday’s contest against No. 8 New Mexico will mark Ohio State’s celebration of Youth Soccer Month, sponsored by U.S. Youth Soccer. The day will include promotional giveaways and a chance at halftime to win a U.S. Youth Soccer prize pack, including a trip to the 2005 MLS Cup in Frisco, Texas. More than 19 million children ages 5-19 participate in soccer in the United States, more than Little League baseball, youth basketball or peewee football.

OHIO STATE IN PRESEASON ACTION
Ohio State went 0-2-0 in preseason action against Dayton and Cincinnati. At Dayton Aug. 21, the Buckeyes dropped a 2-1 contest as the Flyers scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute. Freshman Patrick Roan had scored the game-tying goal for OSU in the 82nd minute.

Ohio State then dropped a 1-0 decision to Cincinnati Aug. 26 in the College Cup Preview Match in Columbus Crew Stadium. Two Buckeye goalkeepers had three saves and the OSU defense denied numerous Bearcat scoring chances, but UC’s Omar Cummings notched a rebound goal, his third tally of the preseason, in the 41st minute that would hold up as the game’s lone goal.

BUCKEYES RANK IN THE TOP 20
For their effort in 2004 the NSCAA ranked the Buckeyes No. 18 in the NSCAA/adidas preseason poll, released Aug. 16. That rank ties Ohio State’s best pre-season ranking, as OSU also was ranked No. 18 in the first poll of 2001.

VERIS, GABEL EARN EARLY RECOGNITION
Senior defender Kyle Veris was named a preseason third-team All-American this week by College Soccer News. Veris, a first-team All-Big Ten selection a year ago, began the season as a forward but moved to defender, where he helped OSU allow only two goals in Big Ten play. Ohio State went 9-3-1 and went to the NCAA `Sweet 16′ after Veris moved to the back. In addition, freshman Tim Gabel was named one of College Soccer News’ Top 100 Freshmen to Watch.

SCOUTING MARQUETTE
Marquette finished the 2004 season 6-11-1 overall and had a 1-5-1 record in the BIG EAST. Marquette returns 22 letterwinners from last year, including eight starters. Friday will also mark the first regular season match for the Golden Eagles after posting a 1-0-1 record in exhibition play.

OSU-UM ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Against the Golden Eagles, Ohio State has dropped both games between the two programs. The Buckeyes are 0-2 against Marquette, dropping meetings in 1994 and 1997 (overtime).

Year Location Winner Score 1997 OSU Marquette 1-0 OT 1994 MU Marquette 5-1

SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
New Mexico is coming off its best year in school history, posting a 17-1-2 record and advancing to the third round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The Lobos return 11 letterwinners for the 2005 season, including seven starters. New Mexico went 1-0-1 in exhibition play this season, which included a 1-1 tie at No. 16 Notre Dame.

OSU-UNM ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Ohio State and New Mexico have met just once on the soccer field with the Buckeyes taking a 1-0 lead in the all-time series thanks to a 4-0 win in 2000 in Columbus.

THREE BUCKEYES PDL PREPARED
Three Buckeye seniors spent their summer competing on Premier Development League teams. Goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. led the Chicago Fire Premier to a 15-1-2 overall record and a berth in the PDL playoffs. Defender Kyle Veris and the Mid-Michigan Bucks fashioned a 14-5-1 record and went two round deep in the playoffs, while forward Kevin Nugent and the Cleveland Internationals went 5-8-3.

2004 NCAA TOURNAMENT
Ohio State hosted 11th-ranked Memphis Nov. 19 in the first round of the NCAA tournament and handed the Tigers a 1-0 loss. Kevin Nugent’s goal in the 28th minute would prove to be the game-winner as the OSU defense, led by goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr., posted the shutout.

On the road four days later at ninth-ranked and fifth-seeded Notre Dame, the Buckeyes got an early goal from Justin Cook in the fourth minute and then the game-winner from Ryan Kustos in the 76th minute to knock off the Fighting Irish. Burse had four saves and the assist on Cook’s goal. Five days later at Duke, Ohio State’s season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to the Blue Devils, who would go on to beat Virginia to advance to the College Cup. A record six Big Ten teams were selected for the NCAA tournament.

LOWERY AND SCHWEBACH JOIN COACHING STAFF
The Buckeyes add two new members to the coaching roster this year, including assistant coach Jon Lowery and volunteer assistant coach Eric Schwebach. Both coaches are former Ohio State players. Lowery was a first-team All-Big Ten goalkeeper for Ohio State in 1997 and 1998. Schwebach was a four year letterwinner for Ohio State from 2001-2004.

COACH BLUEM COMMENTS, AUG. 31
On the exhibition season
“It’s disappointing not to get a result, whether it’s exhibition or regular season, but if you need to get some kinks out it’s good to have that happen in the exhibitions. We need to correct our problems and work on our weaknesses by the time we’re out there Friday night.”

On what the team is working on in practice this week
“We have tried to increase our focus. We were not keen enough in our two exhibition matches and we need to increase our intensity. We need to defend harder and with more purpose. We have not played well yet and I hope the guys come out soon and put it together.”

On the Marquette and New Mexico matches
“We’re a team that needs to get a win under out belts. All our concentration is on Marquette right now, and when that’s over we’ll turn our attention to New Mexico. The boys know New Mexico is a very strong team, but so is Marquette and they have had good results in their preseason, so they’ll come in with a positive feeling about themselves. That’s what we need to get.”

NEXT UP FOR THE BUCKEYES
Following the Ohio State Classic, the Buckeyes will travel to the Furman Classic in Greenville, N.C. Sept. 9 and 11. The Buckeyes will face Coastal Carolina Friday at 5 p.m. and Furman Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

### Go Bucks! ###