Oct. 16, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Penn State’s Simon Omekanda drilled a line drive shot from 40 yards out in double-overtime that hit straight down off the cross bar then bounced into the back of the net to give the Big Ten-leading Nittany Lions a 1-0 win Sunday over the Ohio State men’s soccer team in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes (7-6-1, 1-2-0 Big Ten) posted a 12-9 shot advantage and led in corner kicks, 9-2, but Penn State (6-6-2, 4-0-0 Big Ten) made good on just its third shot after halftime.
“You ask the guys to keep their heads up after a tough loss like this,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “I thought we played the way we thought we would. A sudden death loss is tough, but it’s nice to be able to come out right away and try to redeem yourself (Wednesday vs. Oakland).”
Ohio State out-shot Penn State 5-1 in the second half and 2-1 in the first overtime, but the second overtime had been neutral until Penn State’s Brian Devlin sent a through ball near midfield to Omekanda, who took three short dribbles and sent a rocket toward the OSU net. Buckeye senior goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. (Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier) dove to his left but the ball went just high of his reach and hit the bottom of the cross bar and went straight down, then had enough spin to bounce forward into the net.
Ohio State entered the game having won two of its last three matches and was 4-0-1 against Penn State in Columbus in the last five meetings between these two teams. The Nittany Lions, who began the season 0-5-1 in their first six games, entered the game 5-2-1 in their last eight contests that included wins over defending national champion Indiana and fellow 2004 NCAA tournament participants Maryland and Northwestern.
Ohio State had seven shots on goal to Penn State’s four, but all seven OSU shots were saved by Nittany Lion goalkeeper Conrad Taylor. Burse ended the game with three saves for the Buckeyes.
Sophomore Xavier Balc (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) led Ohio State with four shots, including two on goal. Senior Kevin Nugent (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) also had two shots on goal.
Ohio State starting midfielder Taylor Korpieski (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) missed the game because of injury and fellow midfield starter Rob Strachan (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) left the game in the ninth minute and did not return.
Nugent and junior Brent Rohrer (Springfield, Ohio/Catholic) combined on a give-and-go in the fourth minute that Taylor came out to save, and Nugent’s long solo run on a counter-attack in the fifth minute was also snuffed out by Taylor. In the 52nd minute, a header by senior Kyle Veris (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville/Akron) went just wide of the goal from a corner kick by OSU sophomore Eric Brunner (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto/Maryland).
Two minutes into the first overtime, Nugent was fouled three yards outside the right corner of the 18-yard box and Balc took the resulting free kick. His hard shot was saved by Taylor and it would prove to be Ohio State’s last shot on goal of the afternoon.
In its final non-conference game of the season, Ohio State hosts Oakland Wednesday at 7 p.m., before traveling to Indiana next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
### GO BUCKS! ###