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Oct. 4, 2011

Wednesday, Oct. 5 vs. Bowling Green
7 p.m. • Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium • BTN.com • Free Admission

Sunday, Oct. 9 vs. Northwestern
2 p.m. • Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium • BTN.com • Free Admission

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team returns to the friendly confines of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for a pair of home games this week, hosting Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Big Ten rival Northwestern at 2 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be streamed live on BTN.com with possible re-air on the linear network through its “Student U” production series. The Buckeyes (6-4-1) are coming off a 2-1 victory over Michigan State last Sunday and currently are first in the Big Ten at 2-0-0.

LIVE ACTION
In addition to be streamed live on BTN.com, the Bowling Green and Northwestern games can be followed via Gametracker linked through OhioStateBuckeyes.com, on the front page, as well as the men’s soccer schedule page. Twitter updates can be received from @OhioState_MSOC. Please note the BTN.com games require a separate subscription than BuckeyeVision. More details can be found here: http://video.btn.com/allaccess/?sport=m-soccer

IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State is 6-4-1 on the season after splitting its action last week. The Buckeyes fell to fourth-ranked and unbeaten Akron, 3-1, on the road Sept. 28 before rebounding with a 2-1 victory over Michigan State last Sunday in East Lansing. Chris Hegngi, who leads the team and conference with six goals, had the game-winner vs. the Spartans, while Chris Gomez had his first career tally to open scoring earlier in the game. Seven Buckeye players have started all 11 games this season with the remaining four spots divided among eight players. As many as three starting spots have gone to rookies this season and a total of 12 players have tallied at least one point with 16 assists on 16 of the team’s 19 goals.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS
Bowling Green is unbeaten in its last four games are is coming off a pair of shutout wins over the weekend, defeating IUPUI, 1-0, and Florida Atlantic, 3-0. The Falcons are 7-2-1 on the season and 1-0-0 in the MAC with their last loss coming Sept. 16 vs. Belmont, 3-2. To date, Michigan is the lone shared opponent in 2011, with BGSU earning a 2-0 win in its season opener Aug. 26. Danny Baraldi leads the Falcons with 13 points off three goals and seven assists and has tallied at least one point in six-consecutive games. Rodcliff Hall is leading goal-scorer with four to his credit and nine total points. Michael Wiest and Miguel Rosales have split time between the pipes this season with Wiest making seven starts, including each of the last three, and holding a 0.42 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. As a team, Bowling Green is out-scoring opponents 19-7 and has six shutouts to its credit with 0.68 goals-against average, a mark that ranks No. 21 in the NCAA.

SERIES HISTORY VS. BGSU
The Falcons lead the all-time series 24-12-2 against Ohio State, though the Buckeyes have captured each of the last three meetings and are 6-1-1 since the John Bluem era began in 1997. In the last meeting, Oct. 1, 2008, Andrew Magill scored off assists from Geoff Marsh and Konrad Warzycha to lead the Scarlet & Gray to 1-0 victory in Columbus.

HOMECOMING
Bowling Green’s Eric Nichols will make his first trip to Columbus as head coach of the Falcons. Nichols, who is in his third season, is a 2000 graduate of Ohio State. He played one year for the Buckeyes under head coach Gary Avedikian in 1990, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science after completing his professional soccer career.

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Northwestern is 4-4-2 overall and 0-0-1 in the Big Ten with a road game against No. 12 Notre Dame scheduled for Wednesday evening. The Wildcats tied Michigan State, 1-1, in its lone conference game Sept. 24 and have since dropped a 4-0 decision to DePaul Sept. 28 and defeated Missouri State, 2-0, Oct. 1 in Evanston. Oliver Kupe has a team-leading three goals and six points, despite coming off the bench in seven of 10 games played this season. Chris Ritter is the only other multi-goal scorer with two to his credit, while five others have added single tallies. Tyler Miller has started all but one contest in goal, accumulating 0.76 goals-against average and a .731 save percentage in his nine appearances.

SERIES HISTORY VS. NORTHWESTERN
Ohio State is 18-7-2 all-time vs. Northwestern, though the Wildcats have been victorious in each of the last five regular-season meetings. Last season, a 2-1 loss in Evanston Oct. 10, Joshua Breto erased the shutout and two-goal deficit, but the Buckeyes were unable to overcome a pair of goals from Reed Losee and Oliver Kupe.

BIG TEN RACE
With the victory over the Spartans and a Wisconsin victory over Indiana Sunday, Ohio State moved into first place in the Big Ten with six points. There is a three-way tie at second among the Hoosiers, Badgers and Michigan. The Buckeyes also started the conference race 2-0 last season before finishing second. In four of the last five seasons, the regular-season champion of the seven-team league has had four victories. The last team to go undefeated in Big Ten play was the 2005 Penn State team (6-0-0). BETTER WITH AGE Four Buckeye upperclassmen have scored their first career goals this year. Senior Parnell Hegngi (2g) and juniors Sebastian Rivas (4g), Chris Gomez (1g) and Ben Killian (1g) each found the back of the net for the first time this season. Nearly 80 percent of scoring (43 of 54 points) have come from juniors or seniors this season.

GOALS GALORE
The Buckeyes have scored 19 goals through 11 games, a mark it took them the entire 17-games regular season to hit a year ago. They have tallied three or more goals on four occasions, including a combined seven goals over the two games in the Wolstein Classic. The team previously had not scored at least three goals in a game since the 2009 season and the last time they scored more than four combined goals in back-to-back games was during the 2007 NCAA Tournament and wins over UC Santa Barbara (4-1) and Bradley (4-0) on Dec. 2 and 9, respectively. The last time a Buckeye squad accomplished the feat of scoring three-plus goals in four games also was in 2007 (five games).

HOME COOKING
Ohio State holds a 77-26-15 record in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1999, including at least six wins in each of the last four seasons. A 12-game home unbeaten streak, dating back to the start of the 2010 season, was snapped Sept. 21 in the 1-0 loss to Louisville.

PLAYING CATCH-UP
In six of Ohio State’s 11 games this season, it has given up the first goal of the game, including in each of the first five of the season. The Buckeyes battled back in three of those contests to come up with wins, earning the other three victories by a combined 8-3 advantage after scoring first.

THE BROTHERS HEGNGI
Chris and Parnell Hegngi have combined for one-third of the Buckeyes’ total scoring this season with 16 points between the two of them. With five goals to his credit, Chris leads the team and Big Ten in goals scored, while Parnell is second on the squad in points with six off two goals and two assists. Each brother has earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors so far this season (Chris – Sept. 26 and Parnell – Sept. 5).

LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes topped Michigan State, 2-1, last Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Soccer Complex in East Lansing, Mich., live on the Big Ten Network. The Buckeyes improved to 2-0 in the Big Ten for the second year in a row and 6-4-1 on the season, while the Spartans drop to 2-6-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the conference. Chris Gomez and Chris Hegngi each found the back of the net for Ohio State as it captured its seventh-consecutive meeting vs. Michigan State dating back through the 2006 season. All three goals scored in the game were within a six and a half minute span in the first half, beginning in the ninth minute and ending with Hegngi’s game winner in the 15th.

UP NEXT
Following the home game vs. Northwestern Sunday, the Buckeyes have a week off before returning to action at Valparaiso at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. There is only one remaining home contest after this week, an Oct. 23 contest against Big Ten foe Penn State.