COLUMBUS, Ohio – Matt Gold and Chris Hegngi led the charge in the No. 18-ranked Ohio State men’s soccer team’s comeback win over Cleveland State, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon in preseason action at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes fell behind in the 29th minute, but they came back with three unanswered goals to quickly take over the match.
The Vikings opened scoring in the 29th minute when Aaron Adkins scored on a breakaway pass from Admir Suljevic, but Ohio State battled back with the equalizer just over eight minutes later. Gold collected a centering pass from Omar Vallejo via Hegngi and poked it in the left side from about 10 yards out at 28:34.
A CSU own goal then gave the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead early in the 49th minute and they stretched it to three in the 74th when Hegngi converted on his first of a game-high five shot attempts. The sophomore forward made a long run down the right side of the field and sent a soft shot on target for the final score of the game.
Three goalkeepers split time for Ohio State with Ryan Dalton earning the start and Alex Wimmer and Matt Lampson each taking 30-minute shifts between the pipes. The trio faced a combined four shots with Wimmer stopping two. Their counterpart for the Vikings, Brad Stuver, played all 90 minutes and tallied seven saves on 13 Buckeye shots.
A total of 23 Ohio State players took the pitch Tuesday, including four freshmen in Vallejo, Sage Gardner, Felipe Santibanez and Alec Lowell.
The Buckeyes conclude the exhibition season at 8 p.m. Saturday against Notre Dame in the the ShindigZ National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind. This event features 20 of the finest men’s collegiate teams in the country, including for the first time, all seven of the Big Ten Conference teams. Ticket prices, media details and other information can be found on the National Soccer Festival website (www.nationalsoccerfestival.com) and the Soccerpalooza event website (www.FWsoccerpalooza.com).
Ohio State then opens the regular season with the annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic Sept. 3 and 5 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Penn State, College of Charleston and Buffalo round out the tournament field, which opens play at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 with the Nittany Lions taking on Buffalo.