Sept. 27, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team begins Big Ten play with a BTN-televised match at Indiana at 3 p.m. ET Sunday from Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. The Buckeyes (2-4-2) return to the field after dropping a 1-0 match at No. 10 Akron Tuesday, while the Hoosiers (3-4-1) return home after falling, 3-2, in double overtime at Butler Wednesday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
With Dean Linke and Kevin Egan on the call, the Indiana contest Sunday will be the one of two guaranteed live appearances by the Buckeyes on BTN this season. The Buckeyes and Hoosiers also can be followed via Gametracker through OhioStateBuckeyes.com, linked from the front page, as well as the men’s soccer schedule page, and twitter updates can be recieved from @OhioState_MOSC.
IN A NUTSHELL
• The Buckeyes sit at 2-4-2 on the season after dropping a 1-0 contest at No. 10 Akron Tuesday. They have wins over Northern Illinois and SMU, while taking losses to UNC Wilmington, Tulsa and the Flyers. The Wilmington and NIU matches were part of the eighth annual Wolstein Classic, with the other two contests coming at the Hurricane Classic at Tulsa.
• Goalkeeper Alex Ivanov has three shutouts in seven games this season, surpassing the total from all of 2012 (2).
• Ohio State’s six goals have been scored by six different players; the same for its five assists.
• Sage Gardner and Christian Soldat lead the team with three points apiece as the only players to tally both a score and an assist.
• Ohio State returns four starters in Gardner, a senior captain, juniors Kenny Cunningham and Zach Dobey and Mason from the 2012 team. John Bluem, who enters his 17th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, welcomes a total of 17 new players to Columbus, including a talented group of nine true freshmen.
• In goal, Ivanov has played in seven contests and has 45 saves, three shutouts and a goals-against average of 0.98. He earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors Sept. 3 after stopping two PKs in the Buckeyes’ 2-0 win over Northern Illinois.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
The defending national champion Indiana Hoosiers are 3-4-1 so far this season. Last time out, Indiana fell, 3-2, in double overtime at Butler after holding a 2-0 lead with less than four minutes to play in regulation. The Hoosiers have claimed wins against SMU, CSU Bakersfield and Brown this year. Offensively, Tommy Thompson leads the squad with seven points on three goals and an assist, while four teammates follow with six points each. Indiana has outshot its opponents, 124-96. In goal, sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund is 3-3-1 with a 1.34 goals-against average.
OHIO STATE VS. INDIANA
This will be the 56th meeting between the Buckeyes and Hoosiers. Indiana leads the all-time series, 47-6-2. However, the Scarlet and Gray have won three out of the last five meetings between the two squads. In 2009, Ohio State defeated Indiana twice, downing the Hoosiers, 1-0, in overtime in Bloomington, Nov. 1, before claiming a 4-2 victory in Columbus Nov. 13. In 2010, the Scarlet and Gray won, 1-0, Nov. 7 in Columbus. Last year, the Hoosiers defeated the Buckeyes, 2-0, Sept. 23 in Columbus.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite a spirited second-half of play, the Buckeyes fell 1-0 at No. 10 Akron Tuesday. After the Zips posted a goal in the opening moments of the first half, the Scarlet and Gray came out of halftime and battled Akron until the final seconds of regulation with shots 8-5 in favor of the Zips in the final 45 minutes of play. Ohio State’s best chance was during the 72nd minute when junior Yianni Sarris gathered a loose ball inside the box and blasted a shot towards the goal, but an Akron defender was able to make a diving stop to end the OSU threat. The Buckeyes continued to put pressure on the ball and earned a corner kick in the final seconds of action, but the Zips’ backfield was able to clear it out its zone to earn the win. Junior goalkeeper Alex Invanov posted five saves, while Ohio State had a 4-3 lead in corners.
Ohio State continues its tough stretch of six-consecutive contests vs. 2012 NCAA opponents next week with two matches in Columbus. The Buckeyes host Louisville at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 before taking on Big Ten-rival Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
MAKE B1G PLANS
Ohio State is the host of the 2013 Big Ten Championship, scheduled for Nov. 13-17 on Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Action will begin Wednesday, Nov. 13 with three quarterfinal matches. The No. 1 seed and first-round winners will meet in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 15 with the championship taking place Sunday, Nov. 17. Wednesday contests will be streamed on BTN.com with the semifinals and final matches appearing on BTN.