COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team wraps up the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday against Indiana, the 2010 Big Ten champion, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers clinched the regular-season crown with a 3-2 win over Northwestern last weekend and are 9-5-2, 4-0-1 in the Big Ten. Ohio State also is 9-5-2 overall with a 3-2-0 mark in the conference.
The match will be televised on the Big Ten Network via same-day delay beginning at 7 p.m. Chris Doran and Richard Broad have the call in the Buckeyes’ fourth and final guaranteed appearances on BTN this season.
GET ALL THE ACTION
Live: Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, admission is free
TV: Big Ten Network (tape delay Sunday, 7 p.m.)
Live stats: Linked from the main page and men’s soccer schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Soccer fans are asked to park in the “Buckeye Lots”, located across Fred Taylor Drive from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and enter through the northwest gates of the venue. There is a charge for parking for the men’s basketball parking at 2 p.m.; however, fans attending the men’s soccer match vs. Indiana may park for free if they tell the parking attendant their destination.
BUCKEYES … IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State is 9-5-2 on the season and 3-2-0 in conference play, holding on to nine points and a tie for second place with Michigan heading into the weekend. Konrad Warzycha leads Ohio State 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 on the team in scoring with nine points apiece, each off three goals and three assists. 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 with a 0.72 goals-against average, a .864 save percentage and eight shutouts.
BIG TEN IMPLICATIONS
The middle four spots of the Big Ten are up for grabs this weekend. Indiana has clinched the top spot, while Michigan State is guaranteed a sixth-place finish and Wisconsin owns seventh. The Buckeyes could finish as high as second or as low as fifth, depending on the outcomes of Michigan at Northwestern and Penn State at Wisconsin Saturday, in addition to their own performance vs. Indiana.
The game Sunday will serve as the final regular-season home game for three seniors: Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha. 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 48 wins, the third-most of any four-year class and are poised to make an even greater mark with continued success.
MATT GOLD: A two-time team captain, he has started in 76 of 78 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 47 of 73 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 53 of 71 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. Heading into today’s game, he is sixth all-time in career shots with 166 and also is poised to move into the Top 10 single-season shot totals.
Ohio State holds a 72-25-15 record (.707) – 6-0-1 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).
THE POWER OF FOUR
This year’s senior class of Matt Gold, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha could become the first to make the NCAA Tournament in all four years of their careers. All seven of Ohio State’s appearances in the postseason have come in the last decade, including five of the last six years with the only exception coming in 2006.
Generally know as a stingy defensive program, the 2010 Buckeyes have not disappointed. Matt Lampson and David Tiemstra have represented the Buckeyes by earning a combined four Big Ten 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 0.72 – the only sub-1.0 GAA in the Big Ten – and goals allowed with 12.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Lampson has eight shutouts to his credit this season, good for first in the conference, and 17 for the last two seasons, moving into fourth all-time on the career clean sheet chart in just his second season in a Buckeye uniform. He needs two more to tie Dave Sheer (1985-88) for third place. His 0.862 save percentage not only top the Big Ten, but is No. 10 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 14 for his career, which ranks No. 14 all-time at Ohio State on the career chart.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
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.
As of Nov. 2, Ohio State holds on to the No. 14 spot in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the most important of the criteria in selection to the 48-team NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes are 1-1-2 against teams ranked higher than them and are 1-2-2 vs. teams in the Top 25. There are currently four Big Ten teams in the Top 15 and five of seven are in the Top 30. 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 tied for second in scoring. Austin McAnena (3g, 3a) and Chris Hegngi (3g, 3a) each have nine points to their credit. Conversely, Matt Lampson controls play between the pipes and has all eight of the team’s shutouts to his credit, giving him 17 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 three games 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. They are currently not ranked in any of the four major polls for the first time since Sept. 14, 2009, a span of 19 weeks.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana is coming off a come-from-behind victory vs. Northwestern last weekend which clinched the Big Ten regular-season title. The Hoosiers had been down 2-0 in the second half, but battled to a 3-2 win off a pair of goals from Will Bruin and the game winner from Joe Tolen. Bruin leads Indiana and the Big Ten conference in goals with 15. The bulk of his support comes from Andy Adlard and Alec Purdie with 17 (5g, 7a) and 11 (3g, 5a) points, respectively.
Indiana holds a commanding 45-5-2 advantage in the all-time series; however, Ohio State captured both meetings last season and became the first team to defeat the Hoosiers twice on their famed home field. The Buckeyes joined Penn State and Michigan State as the only teams to defeat Indiana twice in one season.
LAST TIME OUT
Konrad Warzycha scored the game-winning goal as the Buckeyes badgered Wisconsin to a 1-0 win last Sunday in Columbus. Ohio State pieced together back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-September and moved into a tie for second in the Big Ten with Michigan with the win. They also extended their conference-leading shutout mark to eight and allowed Matt Lampson’s goals-against average to drop to 0.72 on the season.
Warzycha made it happen with his team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 28th minute off an assist from Sam Scales, who earned his 15th career helper on the play and moved into seventh place all-time at Ohio State with Andrew Magill (2006-09). Following a Wisconsin foul, Scales took the free kick from about 25 yards out and sailed the ball into the goal area where Warzycha showed his size and athleticism with a diving header into the right side.
The Buckeyes look to defend their Big Ten Tournament title from a year ago as they travel to the conference tourney Nov. 11-14 in University Park, Pa. Winners of two of the last three tournaments, Ohio State is 15-16-1 at the Big Ten Tournament over the last 19 seasons. In addition to the 2007 and 2009 crowns, the Buckeyes were victorious in 2000, a feat they celebrated the 10-year anniversary of at the recent Alumni Weekend.
PENN STATE PRESENTS POSTSEASON
From November 11-14, Penn State will host the 2010 Big Ten Tournament at Jeffrey Field. The Nittany Lions have hosted the annual conference postseason event on three occasions, with the last coming in 2002. Call 814-865-5555 (Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) to order tickets or download a ticket order form from GoPSUsports.com
A member of the Ohio State team has been 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 a 7-5-2 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 will air at least four of the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s games during the 2010 season. The defending Big Ten champions will take 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 picked up the Indiana game at 1 p.m. Nov. 7 (7 p.m. delay) as a wild card selection and will broadcast the conference semifinals and championship live from University Park, Pa., Nov. 12 and 14, respectively, providing further broadcast opportunities.
Head coach John Bluem, the reigning Big Ten coach of the year, is in his 14th season at the helm of the Buckeyes. The winningest coach in program history, he has 148 wins to his credit and holds a .583 winning percentage. In 20 years as a collegiate head coach, Bluem’s career record stands at 234-127-49 (.630), including six seasons at Fresno State.
Expectations were high for the defending Big Ten champions as they headed into 2010, and so far the team is living up to them. The Buckeyes were tabbed the preseason favorite for the conference championship by the league coaches and were heralded as a Top 20 team by several national publications. They were ranked by College Soccer News (No. 10), Soccer America (No. 14) and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (No. 18) to open the campaign. Ohio State acknowledges the NSCAA poll as its “official” ranking throughout the season.
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.