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Aug. 20, 2015

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team hits the road to face No. 19 Xavier at 8 p.m. ET Friday at the Hefner Soccer Complex in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Buckeyes’ final exhibition of the preseason will be the showcase game at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival and will be the last tune-up before they open the regular season against Cal State Fullerton Aug. 28 at the Wolstein Classic in Columbus.

The Buckeyes return nine starters and 13 letterwinners of last year’s team that finished 9-8-5 overall, 5-3 in Big Ten play. Junior forward Danny Jensen is back as the team’s returning point leader from a year ago (6g, 1a), while senior defender Liam Doyle (5g, 2a) also is one of four returning starters to the OSU backline.

OHIO STATE TAKES DOWN NO. 4 NOTRE DAME
The Buckeyes got off to a strong start in preseason play after defeating No. 4 Notre Dame, 2-1, last Sunday in Columbus. Ohio State scored two first-half goals vs. the Irish highlighted by a 20-yard free kick strike by Liam Doyle in the 37th minute of play. The two teams opened the day with a 0-0 draw in a 60-minute match as the OSU freshmen gained experience for the first time in a collegiate game.

THREE BUCKEYES NAMED TO B1G PLAYERS WATCH LIST
Seniors Liam Doyle and Kyle Culbertson and junior Danny Jensen were each named to the Big Ten Players to Watch List on Wednesday, the conference office announced. The Buckeyes were picked fifth in the coaches’ preseason poll, while defending champion Maryland was selected as the preseason favorite. In total, six Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the NSCAA Division I Men’s National Preseason Rankings.

TEN MATCHES AT HOME AND FREE ADMISSION
The Buckeyes’ schedule includes 10 matches at Bert L & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with Big Ten action kicking off Sept. 20 against Penn State. Admission is free to all Ohio State men’s soccer games.

THE COACHING STAFF
Ohio State is under the direction of 19th-year head coach John Bluem. The 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Bluem has guided the team to nine NCAA Tournament appearances (2000-01-04-05-07-08-09-10-14), three Big Ten championships (2000-07-09) and a College Cup Final in 2007. Bluem’s career record sits at 266-161-64 (.610) and has claimed four conference coach of the year awards (most by an active B1G coach).

Associate head coach Frank Speth is in his 17th year with the Scarlet and Gray, while Ian Gordona enters his second season as an assistant coach with the Buckeyes.

UP NEXT
Ohio State opens the regular season at home against Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 to begin action in the tenth-annual Wolstein Classic.