COLUMBUS, Ohio – After three days of training, the Ohio State men’s soccer team begins its exhibition schedule by playing Mount Vernon Nazarene at 2 p.m. Saturday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. A NAIA school in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVN is making its first trip to Columbus in any sport.
Head coach John Bluem begins his 14th season at the helm of the Buckeyes after guiding them to a 12-5-4 record last season and the Big Ten regular-season and tournament a titles, the first double championship in program history. He returns 18 letterwinners from that team, including eight starters, and welcomes seven newcomers to the squad.
Among the familiar faces are 2009 All-Big Ten selections Matt Gold, Konrad Warzycha and Matt Lampson, who also garnered co-Big Ten Rookie of the Years honors last season, as well as the Top 3 point scorers in senior captain Sam Scales and sophomores Austin McAnena and Chris Hegngi. The graduation of Doug Verhoff leaves a gap in the stingiest defense in the conference, but David Tiemstra and Dalton Summers are more than prepared to fill the gap and continued the tradition of strong Buckeye backs.
The Cougars of Mount Vernon Nazarene finished the 2009 campaign with a 17-7-2 overall record and came within one match of making a return trip to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
Following the exhibition match Saturday, the Buckeyes welcome Cleveland State to JOMS at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, before closing out the preseason with Notre Dame at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, in Fort Wayne, Ind.