COLUMBUS, Ohio – After finishing second in the Big Ten conference, the Ohio State men’s soccer team has been dubbed the No. 16 seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, announced Monday on ESPNU. The Buckeyes (10-5-3) will have a bye in the first round and host the winner of Providence vs. St. Peter’s at 1 p.m. Sunday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“This is great news for our team, and especially the seniors,” John Bluem, 14-year Ohio State head coach, said. “We ended the regular season on a strong note and have played one of the toughest schedules in the country, getting some good results along the way. I think the No. 16 seed is a good representation of the whole season’s worth of work. Both Providence and St. Peter’s have had very good seasons as well and we will have to work hard all week to prepare for either one.”
Undefeated Louisville (16-0-3) earned the overall No. 1 seed in the tourney, followed by Maryland, Akron and North Carolina to round out the Top 4. The Buckeyes tied both Louisville and Akron earlier this season. The Cardinals captured the Big East title in penalty kicks vs. Providence Sunday, while the Zips won the Mid-American title for the fourth year in a row.
This is the fourth-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, three of which have been as a seeded team, and eighth overall for the Ohio State men’s soccer program, all under Bluem’s reign. The Buckeyes were the No. 4 seed a year ago, their highest ever. Previously, as the No. 5 seed, the Buckeyes advanced to the College Cup final in 2007 before falling to Wake Forest. The previous best finish was a trip to the third round in 2004 where they fell to eventual semifinalist Duke.
“It’s been great to have this run of four Tournaments in a row,” senior Sam Scales said. “I think we have a great draw especially since we’re at home where we have been undefeated this season. Our fans have been great all year so hopefully we can play well in front of them Sunday.”
Goalkeeper Matt Lampson agreed. “I think we have a very favorable draw. Louisville’s obviously a great team in our bracket but hopefully we can come out strong this weekend in front of our home crowd like we have all season.”
The Buckeyes have not allowed a goal in their last four games, a span of 380 minutes, and have 10 shutouts to their credit this season. They are led by Konrad Warzycha, a recent First Team All-Big Ten selection, with seven goals, followed by Austin McAnena and Chris Hegngi with four and three goals, respectively. Warzycha, along with fellow senior captains Sam Scales and Matt Gold, control the midfield, while David Tiemstra, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and first-team selection, anchors the defense. Matt Lampson, the Buckeyes’ third First Team All-Big Ten honoree, leads the conference in shutouts (10), goals-against average (0.64) and save percentage (.870).
Tickets for all rounds of NCAA competition hosted by Ohio State will be $8 for adults and $5 for students and children 18 and younger. Stay tuned to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for more information.