Aug. 27, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team begins the 2014 regular season by hosting the ninth annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic this weekend where it will take on UC Davis at 7:30 p.m. Friday before facing Butler at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Canisius rounds out the tournament field, taking on Butler in the opening game at 5 p.m. Friday and then meeting UC Davis at noon Sunday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans that cannot make it to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, there are a variety of ways to follow the action. Both Ohio State matches will be broadcast on the BTN Plus at www.btn2go.com/ohio-state/home. A link to live stats will also be available from the calendar tab on the front page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com or the men’s soccer schedule page. Twitter updates also will be available from @OhioState_MSOC.
The Buckeyes are 26-25-10 in lidlifters all-time and 7-7-3 under head coach John Bluem. They have opened their home field 12 times under the current regime, going 7-3-2 in those outings.
ABOUT THE WOLSTEINS
The annual Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic, now in its ninth year, is named in honor of the family that first brought professional soccer to Ohio in 1979. From 1979-1988, the late Bert Wolstein (2004) was the owner and president of the Cleveland Force of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Since them, the Wolstein support of Ohio State has been nothing short of generous. The most recent major act of a giving was a $1.5 million gift to the Department of Athletics, resulting in the naming of the field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, as part of a $4.9 million total gift to the university in September 2012. The Wolsteins previously made a major contribution in 2001 to the Ohio Stadium renovation project, prompting the dedication of the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Football Center in the southwest tower.
The Buckeyes are 17-8-5 all-time in their early season home tournament, including an 8-2-4 mark the last six seasons. Ohio State has captured the tournament six times (2006-2009, 2011 and 2012), winning the tournament two out of the last three years. Last year, the team fell 2-1 in double overtime to UNC Wilmington in the opening match before earning a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois in the tournament finale. Goalkeeper Alex Ivanov was named the All-Tournament Team in both 2012 and 2013, while midfielder Zach Mason was named to the tournament squad in 2012.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
· Ohio State returns nine starters, including senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov, who was named a 2013 second All-Big Ten selection, while sophomores Danny Jensen and Tyler Kidwell earned All-Freshmen Team laurels. John Bluem, who enters his 18th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, welcomes a total of 12 new players to Columbus, including a talented group of eight true freshmen.
· Ivanov, Jensen and junior Kyle Culbertson were each named to the Big Ten Preseason to Watch List last week. Jensen is the leading returning scorer from last season with three goals and three assists to his credit as a freshman. Ivanov, a 2013 Academic All-American, was second in the nation in saves from a season ago, collecting 110 stops for the Scarlet and Gray.
· The Buckeyes’ next home match will be their conference opener vs. Northwestern Sept. 14. The game will be televised live on Big Ten Network.
SCOUTING UC DAVIS
The Aggies return six starters from 2013, while welcoming 10 newcomers for the 2014 season. Each of UC Davis’ Top 3 scorers return this fall, including Matt Sheldon and Matt Wiesenfarth, who each collected 13 points (6g, 1a). The Aggies fell in their lone exhibition match to Chico State by a score of 1-0. This will be the first meeting between Ohio State and UC Davis in men’s soccer
The Bulldogs will look to be led by preseason All-Big East selections Zach Steinberger and David Goldsmith. Steinberger was a first team selection pick last fall, while Goldsmith was named second team all-league and was chosen as theBig East Rookie of the Year in 2013. Butler won its first exhibition by a 2-1 score over Dayton thanks to first-half goals by Chad Rigg and Joseph Bastian. In their final exhibition contest, Butler blanked Indianapolis, 2-0, with goals by Jeff Adkins and Bastian. This will be the 12th meeting between Ohio State and Butler with the Buckeyes holding a 5-4-2 mark all-time.
The Golden Griffins return three of its Top 5 scorers from a year ago, including senior forward Asani Samuels, who boasted eight points on three goals and a pair of assists in 2013. Samuels was tabbed second team honors among the All-North Atlantic group by the NSCAA. The team welcomes eight true freshmen to the squad led by head coach Dermot McGrane.
BIG TEN PREDICTIONS
Senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov, junior defense Kyle Culbertson and sophomore forward Danny Jensen are among the 27 student-athletes deemed “Players to Watch” by the Big Ten at the start of the season. The team was selected ninth in the preseason coaches’ poll released Aug. 20.
Maryland, who is ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA preseason Top 25 poll as the national runner-up, is a top of the preseason conference standings. Michigan State checked in at No. 2 in the preseason poll, followed by Michigan at No. 3, defending Big Ten champion Penn State at No. 4 and Indiana, the 2013 Big Ten Tournament champions, at No. 5.
Eight freshmen make up the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s rookie class, named No. 33 in the country by College Soccer News prior to the season. The group is the sixth-highest ranked class behind No. 2 Michigan, No. 10 Northwestern, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 13 Maryland and No. 32 Indiana. Six freshmen field players saw action in the preseason with several expected to play an integral role in the Buckeyes’ regular-season campaign.
FREE FOR ALL
The Buckeyes’ schedule includes nine matches at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with home Big Ten action kicking off Sept. 14 against Northwestern. Admission is free to all Ohio State men’s soccer regular-season home games.
BUCKEYES ON BTN
Ohio State has at least one appearance on BTN this season when the team welcomes Northwestern Sept. 14 in Columbus. Six home matches will be streamed on BTN Plus, while two matches can be viewed on Buckeye Vision this season (Indiana, Rutgers) on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The semifinals and the final of the Big Ten Championship, hosted by the higher seeds this season, will be shown live on BTN.
John Bluem, the winningest coach in OSU program history, is in his 18th season at the helm of the Buckeyes. The three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year enters 2014 with a 171-126-48 (.565) record at Ohio State. His career record, which includes six seasons at Fresno State, stands at 257-153-63 for a .611 winning percentage.