Nov. 27, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – By the time November arrived, Ohio State was one of the hottest men’s soccer teams in the country. The Buckeyes secured the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Championship and advanced to the title games as hosts in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. That, and an 8-2-1 record in their final 11 games, should have been enough to put Ohio State in its third-consecutive NCAA tournament.

But when the 48-team field of the national tournament was announced Nov. 6, Ohio State’s name was not called. And with it, the Buckeyes’ season came to a halt with an 11-7-3 overall record. OSU was 3-2-1 in the Big Ten and its No. 2 seed was its third in a row.

“We can’t say it was an unsuccessful season with an 11-7-3 final record against the quality of opponents we faced,” head coach John Bluem said. “After a slow start on the road, our turnaround was made possible by a super effort from the guys. They never gave up on accomplishing our goals, one of which was the NCAA tournament. We know we were a special team and that we should have been in the NCAA tournament.”

“This was an incredible team to coach,” Bluem said. “This ranks as one of the better teams in my 10 years here. The `Sweet 16″ team in 2004 and the Big Ten championship team in 2000 were special, but this was a very technical team capable of playing with anyone. We had a very good season that ended on a bad note. Unless you win the national championship, most teams end their season with a loss. This team dreamed of going to the NCAA tournament and should have been given that chance.”

The Buckeyes moved up to No. 5 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Region following the Big Ten Championship, and although polls have no impact on which teams are selected for the NCAA tournament, Ohio State was ranked ahead of No. 6 Illinois-Chicago, No. 8 Northwestern and No. 9 Loyola-Chicago, all of which found a spot in the NCAA tournament. During the regular season, Ohio State was ranked as high as No. 20 in the country in 2006 (Sept. 5). Final rankings and the RPI report will be released after the conclusion of the College Cup.

Ohio State’s six seniors were honored on Senior Day Oct. 29 prior to the Buckeyes’ 2-0 win over Michigan State. During the last four years they helped guide the Buckeyes to 38 wins and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2004. Seniors, with games played, include defender Jim Fisher (66), midfielder Antonio Garcia (41), defender Dustin Kirby (82), midfielder Taylor Korpieski (67), midfielder Brent Rohrer (79) and midfielder Rob Strachan (67). See page 14 of this release for the complete Senior Day script.

In the first 44 seasons of Ohio State men’s soccer, the Buckeyes won 10 or more games eight times. In the last 10 seasons, all under head coach John Bluem, Ohio State has already equaled that total with eight seasons of 10 or more wins. In addition, with a 3-1 win over Michigan State Nov. 2 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Championship, Bluem notched win No. 100 at Ohio State, which only added to his school wins record.

Ohio State was confident it had done enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament when the selection show began the afternoon of Nov. 6, but the selection committee thought otherwise.

“The day of the NCAA selection show was a very sad day for all of us,” Bluem said. “We believed we would be in the tournament. We watched the show with that confidence. All indicators were that we would be in the NCAA tournament.”

But only Big Ten champion Indiana, who received an automatic bid, and Northwestern, which received an at-large bid, were chosen for the postseason from the Big Ten Conference.

“The NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee had an extremely difficult task in choosing the 48-team bracket for the 2006 Men’s Soccer Championship,” Noreen Norris, assistant athletics director at Northwestern and chair of the selection committee, said. “In my fours years on the committee, this year was certainly the toughest in terms of choosing the last few teams into the field due to the tremendous parity in Division I men’s soccer. Although Ohio State had a great finish to the season playing for the championship of the Big Ten Conference, they did not have the same results against some of the top teams in the country as other teams that were selected to participate in the NCAA championship.”

Though Ohio State had two wins over ranked teams in 2006 in then-No. 21 Akron and then-No. 22 Wisconsin, neither team was selected for the NCAA tournament. In addition, three wins over 10+ win teams, including Furman (11-7-1) and twice vs. Michigan State (10-7-2) did not factor into the Buckeyes’ record against what the selection committee determined to be the nation’s top teams.

Ohio State went 0-5-1 against teams that were selected for the NCAA tournament (tied San Francisco 1-1, lost to North Carolina 1-0, lost to Indiana twice 1-0, lost to Wake Forest 3-2 in overtime and lost to Northwestern 3-1). In addition, the Buckeyes tied Hartwick 0-0 and lost to then-No. 23 Boston University 1-0.

“A win in any one of those games, including Hartwick or Boston, would have put us in the tournament,” Bluem said. “One game in particular hurt – the loss at Northwestern. But that was a game where we lost our two best central midfielders, Brent Rohrer and Taylor Korpieski, to injury. Northwestern was up for that game and you have to remember that was way back on Sept. 17.”

Ohio State will celebrate the 2006 season with its annual team awards banquet Jan. 19. Looking ahead to 2007, the Buckeyes begin spring practice on March 26. A spring game schedule, including the annual Connor Senn Memorial Match against the Columbus Crew, will be announced at a later date. In 2007, Ohio State will return 12 letterwinners, including seven starters and its top five scorers from 2006. Starters back include GK Casey Latchem, D Eric Brunner, D Tim Gabel, M Geoff Marsh, M Danny Irizarry, F Xavier Balc and F Ryan Kustos.

Xavier Balc became Ohio State’s all-time assist leader in 2006 and takes 21 helpers into his senior season in 2007. Balc’s nine assists in 2006 were one shy of the school’s single-season record. Taylor Korpieski ended his career with 14 assists, which are tied for seventh all-time. Balc also set a school record for shots in a season with 75, topping the previous record of 71 set by Justin Cook in 2004. Balc’s 23 points in 2006 tied for seventh all-time and his career total of 51 points rank seventh. His 174 career shots are fourth all-time and are 17 shy of the OSU record. Goalkeeper Casey Latchem collected 10 shutouts in 2006, which were one shy of the program’s single-season record. His 0.79 goals against average last season also ranks No. 2 in OSU history.

Ohio State hosted the 2006 Big Ten Championship Nov. 2-5 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and advanced to the title game against No. 10 Indiana. The Buckeyes, who carried the No. 2 seed into the event, knocked off No. 7 seed Michigan State 3-1 in the quarterfinals and No. 6 seed Michigan 1-0 in the semifinals before a 1-0 loss to the top-seeded Hoosiers ended OSU’s season.

After hosting and winning the Big Ten championship in 2000, the Buckeyes are now 5-1 in the Big Ten Championship when it is played in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU’s three goals in the quarterfinals were its most since a 3-2 win in overtime against Penn State in the 2000 Big Ten Championship game.

The Buckeyes were the No. 2 seed for the third-consecutive year and for the fifth time since the Big Ten tournament was first played in 1991, joining OSU teams in 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2005. OSU is now 4-5 as the No. 2 seed. The Buckeyes are now 11-15 all-time in the Big Ten championship.

Ten Buckeyes were named Academic All-Big Ten at the end of the season, including seniors Jim Fisher and Dustin Kirby, juniors Eric Edwards, Ryan Kustos, Casey Latchem and Kyle Retzlaff and sophomores Tim Gabel, Scott Marguglio, Geoff Marsh and Patrick Roan. Five of those Buckeyes, including Fisher, Kirby, Latchem, Gabel and Marsh, were also nominated for the Academic All-America team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America and sponsored by ESPN The Magazine. Nominees must be a sophomore or older and carry a 3.2 grade point average.

The Buckeyes were 8-2-1 in their last 11 games of the season, with their only two losses coming to Indiana. With their run to the Big Ten championship game, Ohio State ended its season 8-3-1 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, setting a record for wins in a season in the Jesse, which opened in 1999.

The Buckeyes outscored their opponents 26-17 in 2006. Ohio State also led the opposition in shots (351-242), shots on goal (128-93) and corner kicks (97-80). In conference games, the Buckeyes led the Big Ten in shots per game (16.6).

Junior forward Xavier Balc led the Big Ten in points with 23 and shots with 75 (school record). His seven goals tied for the league-lead and his nine assists ranked first. Balc’s 21 career assists are already a school record.

After Balc on the stat sheet, junior forward Ryan Kustos was next with eight points from three goals and two assists. Sophomore midfielder Geoff Marsh ranked third on the team in scoring with seven points (3 g., 1 a.), followed by three Buckeyes with six points.

Junior goalkeeper Casey Latchem allowed less than a goal per game with a 0.79 goals allowed average, which ranked third in the Big Ten and second all-time in OSU single-season history. His 10 shutouts led the league and were second-most in a season at OSU.

The Buckeyes returned 10 of their Top 12 scorers from last season and had three All-Big Ten selections back, including defenders Dustin Kirby and midfielders Brent Rohrer and Taylor Korpieski. Graduates departed from OSU’s 2005 season include leading scorer Kevin Nugent (20 points) and MLS third-round draft picks Kyle Veris (def.) and Ray Burse Jr. (GK). The Buckeyes were 11-8-2 overall in 2005, finished second in the Big Ten regular-season standings (3-2-1) and made their second-consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, falling at No. 18 Santa Clara, 1-0.

Ohio State senior co-captain Dustin Kirby was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week Oct. 9 for the second time this season. From his central defensive spot he scored the game-winning goal Oct. 8 to beat No. 22 Wisconsin and helped the OSU defense notch the shutout. Kirby received the same honor Aug. 28 after leading the Buckeyes to a 1-0-1 weekend and earning MVP honors of the Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic. He was a second-team All-Big Ten pick last year and is a four-year starter.

Head coach John Bluem has guided the Buckeyes to 10 or more wins in eight of his 10 seasons at OSU and to all four of the program’s NCAA tournament appearances (2000, 2001, 2004, 2005). His 2004 squad topped No. 11 Memphis and No. 9 Notre Dame in the postseason to advance to the `Sweet 16.’ Bluem owns a record of 101-77-23 (.559) at Ohio State. His win total and win percentage are school records. Overall, his career record stands at 187-104-35 (.626), which includes six seasons at Fresno State. In 28 season of coaching soccer, teams that Bluem has been a part of have gone 364-130-67 (.709).

Ohio State won eight games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in 2006, the most in a single season since the facility opened for the 1999 season. Overall, the Buckeyes are 45-19-10 (.676) in the Jesse. OSU was 8-3-1 at home in 2006. OSU’s best season at JOMS from a win percentage standpoint was in 2002 with a 7-1-1 record and facility-best six-game winning streak. The Buckeyes set two stadium attendance records in 2006, one for a men’s and women’s soccer doubleheader (2,307 vs. Louisville Oct. 11) and the other for a single-session men’s soccer game (1,363 vs. Indiana Oct. 14).

Coming off seasons when Ohio State finished tied for first in the Big Ten (2004) and second (2005), OSU was picked third in the 2006 Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll. Seven-time national champion Indiana was selected first, while defending Big Ten champ Penn State was second. The seven teams, in order, include: 1. Indiana, 2. Penn State, 3. Ohio State, 4. Wisconsin, 5. Michigan State, 6. Michigan, 7. Northwestern.

In its newly named early season tournament, Ohio State went 1-0-1 to win The Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic Aug. 25-27, named in honor of the individuals who first brought professional soccer to Ohio in 1979. In the opener, the Buckeyes dominated Hartwick, outshooting them 26-6 and forcing the Hawks into 21 fouls, but OSU was unable to find the back of the net and settled for a 0-0 tie. Thanks to Furman’s 2-0 win over Penn State, the OSU-Furman match Sunday proved to be the Classic’s championship game and the Buckeyes defended their home turf, winning 2-0.

In Ohio State’s three early season tournaments this season, jr. DEF Eric Brunner was named to the All-Tournament team of all three. Most recently, he joined OSU so. MID Geoff Marsh on the honor squad of the Penn State Nike Classic. It was the first all-tourney honor for Marsh. Brunner and fr. MID Doug Verhoff were named to the all-tournament team of the Carolina Nike Classic Sept. 1-3. For Verhoff, who scored 51 seconds into the Wake Forest game, it was his first all-tournament team honor. Four Buckeyes were named to the Wolstein Classic all-tournament team, including sr. DEF Dustin Kirby (MVP), Brunner, jr. FWD Xavier Balc and jr. GK Casey Latchem.

Considering Ohio State annually boasts one of the Big Ten’s best defenses, it was no surprise when a pair of defenders were announced as the Buckeyes’ 2006 co-captains. Seniors Jim Fisher and Dustin Kirby were selected by their teammates during preseason camp and will wear the captains’ bands this season. Entering the 2006 season, Fisher had started 39 consecutive matches, while Kirby had started all but one match (64) since his arrival at OSU. Both are Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

In preparation for the 2006 season, Ohio State went on a 10-day trip to Germany in June, where the Buckeyes won all three of their exhibition matches with a +13 goal differential. The travel party also attended three World Cup matches and went on numerous sight-seeing and team-building excursions.

Seniors Brent Rohrer and Dustin Kirby were second-team All-Big Ten picks in 2005, while Taylor Korpieski received the same honor as a sophomore in 2004 before injuries cut short his junior season. Junior Xavier Balc was a third-team all-region selection last year. Three current Buckeyes have been named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen Team in their careers, including Korpieski, Balc and sophomore Danny Irizarry.

Ohio State’s 3-1 loss at Northwestern Sept. 17 snapped a pair of long win streaks for the Buckeyes. OSU had not been defeated in its Big Ten opener since 1993, a 13-year win streak, and had not lost to the Wildcats since that same game, a 15-match unbeaten streak. The Buckeyes led, 1-0, at halftime, but the Wildcats scored three goals in an 11-minute span early in the second half to come from behind.

Six Buckeyes have been Major League Soccer draft picks since 2003. Last January in the third round, defender Kyle Veris was taken at No. 25 overall by the L.A. Galaxy and goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. was selected at No. 30 by F.C. Dallas and was the first goalkeeper picked. In the 2003 draft, forward Andy Rosenband and defender Jake Traeger (brother of current Buckeye Steven Traeger) were taken in the seventh round, while in 2005 forward Justin Cook and midfielder Sammy Tamporello were taken in the supplemental draft.

Noting the Buckeyes…

#3 Xavier Balc, jr., Fwd. (7 g., 9 a.): First-team All-Big Ten … responsible for 24 of OSU’s last 32 goals dating back to middle of 2005 … already owns the OSU career assists record (21) … led Big Ten in points (23) and shots (75) … started all 21 games … led Big Ten in assists (9) and tied for lead in goals (7) … collected at least one point in 13 of OSU’s 21 games in 2006 and OSU went 10-3-0 in those games … Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week 10/2 (assisted on all 3 OSU goals that week) … owned 8-game point streak midseason … 4 game-winning goals in `06 tied for Big Ten lead, now has 6 in career … game-winners in 2006 vs. Mich. St. 11/2, Butler 9/22, BGSU 9/14 and Furman 8/27 … OSU Wolstein Classic all-tournament team Aug. 27 … Career highlights: will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … perhaps OSU’s most talented athlete … owns 15 career goals and 21 assists … has played MID and FWD … OSU’s go-to player for PKs and corner kicks in part because of great left foot … led team in assists as a soph. (8) and jr. (9), which rank tied for third and second, respectively, in OSU history … responsible for OSU’s final 8 goals of 2005, either by goal, assist or free kick resulting in an own goal … had at least one point in 9 games in 2005 and OSU went 8-0-1 in those games.

#23 Eric Brunner, jr., Def. (2 g., 2 a.): First-team All-Big Ten … started all 21 games and played all but 41 minutes … has started 42 consecutive games … 44 shots in `06 ranked 2nd on team and 5th in Big Ten … 16 of his shots were on goal (tied-2nd on team) … assisted on Eric Edwards’ equalizer in 3-1 win vs. Michigan State 11/2 … scored OSU’s first goal in comeback win at Oakland 10/18 (header off Korpieski corner) … scored second career game-winner 10/11 vs. Louisville (header off Balc corner) … named to each All-Tournament Team of OSU’s 3 early-season tournaments (OSU Wolstein Classic 8/27, Carolina Nike Classic 9/3 and Penn State Nike Classic 9/10) … assisted on Tim Gabel’s goal vs. Furman 8/27 … Career highlights: will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … started all 21 games last season (2g., 2a.) … one of OSU’s most talented players … played as freshman at Maryland, helped Terrapins to College Cup … transferred home to OSU during winter of fr. year, competed in 2005 spring season and has now started every game since … tall, powerful defender, comes forward to get involved in attack.

#19 Eric Edwards, jr., Fwd. (2 g., 0 a.): Scored in back-to-back games vs. Michigan St., 10/29 in regular-season and 11/2 in Big Ten quarterfinal … 1st goal capped a 2-0 win, 2nd goal was equalizer in 3-1 win … started three games and played in 15 … 394 min., 13 shots … played in 9 of first 10 games, then each of the last 4 … took 8 shots in exh. vs. Dayton (2 on goal) … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … spent fr. year at def., moved to fwd. as soph., where he spent his prep career … scored OSU’s goal in 1-1 tie against Columbus Crew last April … strong, tough competitor who has a great work ethic.

#25 Jim Fisher, 5th-sr., Def. (1 g., 0 a.): co-captain … scored 1st collegiate goal 10/18/06, game-winner in OT at Oakland … started all 21 games, played all but83 min. … 11 shots … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … started the final 57-consecutive games of his career at right back, including last 15 games 2004, all 21 games of 2005 and all 21 games of 2006 … 3 career assists, including 2 as junior (vs. Coastal Car., at Wis.) … key ingredient in OSU’s 2004 defense that allowed only 2 goals in Big Ten play and went to Sweet 16 … 2 of his 3 career assists set up first goal of a hat trick (Justin Cook at Penn St. in 2004, Xavier Balc vs. Coastal Car. in 2005).

#18 Tim Gabel, so., Def. (2 g., 1 a.): scored 2 goals on just 18 shots in 2006 … assisted on Jim Fisher’s game-winner in OT at Oakland 10/18 … scored game-winner at Penn State 10/1 … missed 2 games because of injury in `06 but started the other 19 … 1624 min. … scored OSU’s 2nd goal in 2-0 win vs. Furman 8/27 (his 1st collegiate goal, header off Balc corner kick) … missed BU game 9/8 and BGSU game 9/14 with injury … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … solid contributor in 2005 before an injury cut fr. season short … great size, soccer resume … won national club championship with Scott Gallagher … tall, physical, good in the air.

#13 Antonio Garcia, sr., Mid. (0 g., 0 a.): Started 3 games in 2006 (8/27 vs. Furman, 9/22 vs. Wis.-Green Bay and 10/29 vs. Michigan State) … played in 6 games and logged 166 min. … missed several games because of injury … scored OSU’s 2nd goal (unassisted) in exh. vs. Bradley … Career highlights: singled out by Coach Bluem as having most soccer savvy and experience on team … added spark to OSU midfield … played in all 21 games last season, made 6 starts … fearless, aggressive player, both with the ball or in defensive situations … calm on the ball, has great control, even in traffic.

#8 Danny Irizarry, so., Mid. (2 g., 2 a.): Tied for 4th on the team in scoring in 2006 (6 pts.) … played in all 21 games, started 13 … 1358 min. (65 min./game) … scored equalizer in OSU’s comeback win at Oakland 10/18 … assists came at Penn St. 10/1 and vs. Wis. 10/8 (Kirby game-winner) … converted PK vs. BGSU 9/14. … took 28 shots, including career-high 5 at Butler 9/20 … missed 2 exh. matches because of injury … Career highlights: Will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … scored 2 goals and had 4 assists as fr. … named to 2005 Big Ten All-Freshman Team … one of OSU’s best offensive playmakers in MID but also a defensive force, tenacious tackler … played his way into starting lineup permanently as fr. … played in 19 games and made 13 starts as fr., including final 8 matches.

#7 Dustin Kirby, sr., Def. (1 g., 0 a.): First-team All-Big Ten … co-captain and 4-year starter … played all 1948:30 of the 2006 season … scored game-winner vs. Wis. 10/8/06 (1st collegiate goal) … twice in `06 was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week (8/28, 10/9) … OSU’s central defender and possible defensive MVP … 9 shots … Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week 8/28 … MVP of OSU’s Wolstein Classic 8/25-27 … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … 2005 2nd-team All-Big Ten … started every game but 1 in his career at OSU (81) … holds things together in the back for OSU … rarely comes off field (7,173 minutes played out of 7,489 possible in career).

#10 Taylor Korpieski, sr., Mid. (1 g., 4 a.): Was OSU’s attacking midfielder last 4 years … 14 career assists tied for 7th all-time at OSU … assisted on OSU’s first goal in comeback win at Oakland 10/18/06 … scored game-winner vs. No. 21 Akron 9/26 … started 17 matches in 2006 and totaled 1463 min. … 29 shots … missed Wis.-Green Bay game 9/22 and Michigan St. game 10/29 because of yellow card accumulation … assisted on Doug Verhoff’s goal vs. Wake Forest 9/3 … Career highlights: 2nd-team All-Big Ten as soph. with 4 goals, 8 assists (2nd-most in a season at OSU) … season cut short by injuries as jr. … OSU’s best playmaker in the midfield (wears No. 10 for a reason), controls tempo of the game … OSU’s leading scorer as fr. in 2003.

#17 Ryan Kustos, jr., Mid. (3 g., 2 a.): Team’s 2nd-leading scorer (8 pts.) … played in all 21 games and started 15, including last 12 in a row … scored game-winner vs. Michigan State 10/29 … twice has scored OSU’s second goal in 2-0 wins (vs. Wis. 10/8, at Butler 9/20) … assisted on Xavier Balc’s game-winner vs. BGSU 9/14 … … 1243 min. (59 min./game) … 39 shots 3rd on team … 16 of his shots were on goal (tied-2nd on team) … came off bench to score game-winner in exh. vs. Bradley 8/18 … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … speed, quickness, power – combination has put him into the OSU lineup at both fwd. and mid. … has played in 61 games as a Buckeye and made 33 starts … 9 goals, 6 assists in career … played in all 21 games last season, 15 starts.

#1 Casey Latchem, jr., GK (0.79 GAA, 74 Saves, 17 GA, 1949 min.): see career capsule, pg. 8 of postseason packet … Big Ten all-tournament team … led Big Ten in shutouts (10), was 2nd in saves (74) and 3rd in goals allowed average (0.79) … 10 shutouts in 2006 were 2nd in OSU history … career-high 10 saves in Furman win 8/27 … played all 1948:30 min. in 2006 … OSU Wolstein Classic all-tournament team … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … understudy to MLS draftee Ray Burse Jr. last 2 years … smart, good distributor … started 7 games as fr. in 2004, 4 against nationally ranked opp. … 1.12 GAA as so. and 1.64 GAA as fr.

#14 Andrew Magill, fr., Fwd. (0 g., 2 a.): Assisted on Xavier Balc’s goal vs. Wake Forest 9/3 and Eric Edwards’ vs. Michigan State 10/29 … started 5 games and played in 20 overall … 744 min. (37 min./game) … 23 shots … scored in exh. vs. Dayton … Career highlights: had solid freshman year for OSU … scored 61 goals in prep career, including 34 as senior … added 33 career assists, 16 as senior … all-state and All-Midwest.

#9 Geoff Marsh, so., Mid. (3 g., 1 a.): Third on team in scoring (7 pts.) … scored 2 goals in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament, one vs. Michigan St. in quarterfinals, 1 vs. Michigan in semis … Big Ten all-tournament team … led team in shots on goal percentage (.562, 9-of-16) and shot percentage (.188, 3 g., 16 shots) … assisted on equalizer in comeback win at Oakland 10/18 … scored equalizer in 2-1 win at Penn St. 10/1 … started the 20 games he played in at right mid. … 1530 min. … missed BGSU game 9/14 because of injury … Penn St. Nike Classic All-Tournament Team … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … will be one of 7 returning starters for OSU in 2007 … a bright spot in OSU’s 2005 fr. class and only got better as a soph. … shared 2006 Most Improved Player Award with Danny Irizarry … only fr. to play in all 21 games … 4th on team in scoring (2 g., 2 a.).

#16 Kyle Retzlaff, jr., Mid. (0 g., 0 a.): 3 games, 36 min. … 23 min. vs. Wis. 10/1 … 8 min. at Penn State 10/1 … 5 min. vs. Wake Forest 9/3 … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … gets up and down the field well, has good quickness … aggressive and plays with a high motor … has a good left foot.

#4 Patrick Roan, so., Def. (0 g., 0 a.): 13 min. vs. Wake Forest 9/3 … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … played in 3 games as fr., 1 as soph. … played in 2 HS state title games … strong, athletic and versatile and could play in defense or in midfield.

#5 Brent Rohrer, sr., Mid. (0 g., 1 a.): OSU’s defensive midfielder last 4 years … missed 3 games midway in 2006 with leg injury, returned 10/11 vs. Louisville … assisted on Steven Traeger’s goal vs. #13 San Francisco 9/10 … played in 18 games and made 13 starts … 1,007 min. … Career highlights: 2nd-team All-Big Ten as jr. … played in all but 4 games for OSU in his career (78) … 4-year starter … started at both def. and mid. during his career, but settled into central mid. … OSU’s best marker of an opponent … owned 2 goals (including game-winner at Wis. 10/2/05) and 5 assists in his career.

#6 Rob Strachan, sr., Mid. (0 g., 0 a.): Played in 19 games in 2006 and made 12 starts, including last 11 in a row at left mid. … 1,169 min. (62 min./game) … 9 shots … returned to field vs. Furman 8/27 after missing end of junior season and beginning of 2006 with leg injury … started at LB vs. BGSU 9/14 … Career highlights: If not in starting lineup, was one of 1st players off bench last 4 years … played in 1st 14 games of 2005 (10 starts) before sidelined by a leg injury, required surgery … started 1st 3 games at def. before moving into mid … played in 67 games at OSU.

#20 Steven Traeger, jr., Mid. (1 g., 0 a.): missed the end of the 2006 season because of injury … scored vs. #13 San Francisco 9/10, first goal as Buckeye, equalizer in 1-1 tie … 7 games, 142 min. … 1 goal on just 7 shots for a team-best .188 shot percentage … season-high 54 min. at NU 9/17 … 13 min. vs. Wis. 10/8 … 17 min. vs. Wake Forest 9/3 … Career highlights: played 2 seasons at UNC-Charlotte, transferred to OSU with 2 years of eligibility remaining … played in 37 games, totaled 5 goals, 2 assists for UNCC … 4th member of family to play for OSU, including 2 brothers and a sister.

#15 Doug Verhoff, fr., Def. (1 g., 0 a.): Played in 19 games and made 6 starts … 954 min. … 25 shots … started at mid. and def. … scored in 1st min. vs. Wake Forest 9/3 … named to Carolina Nike Classic All-Tournament Team … Career highlights: Could play himself into the starting lineup permanently in 2007 … scored 55 goals and had 29 assists in prep career … 1st-team All-Central Catholic League all 4 years … started every game in H.S. except 2 (senior nights FR and SOPH years) … Central District POY as SR, 1st-team All-Ohio.

#2 Kyle West, fr., Def. (0 g., 0 a.): 155 min. in 10 games as a freshman in 2006 … 30 min. vs. Wis. 10/8 … started at mid. in exh. vs. Dayton (54 min.) … 48 min. in exh. vs. Bradley … Career highlights: Could play himself into the starting lineup permanently in 2007 … composed, passes ball well, strong ball winner … led club team to state cup championships in 2003-04-05 … member of Nebraska ODP from 2002-05 … made Region II ODP squad in 2005.

#27 Ayodele Adedapo, fr., Def. (0 g., 0 a.): Played in 2 games as a freshman in 2006, 22 min. … played 12 min. at Northwestern 9/17 … 10 min. vs. BGSU 9/14 … started exh. match vs. Dayton … Career highlights: athletic and strong … 2005 Mid-State League Player of the Year and 3rd-team All-Ohio … led Bexley to 2005 Div. II state title … 24 goals and 18 assists as a senior in 23 games.

#12 Benjamin Frasher, fr., Mid. (0 g., 0 a.): Missed 2006 because of a leg injury … Career highlights: member of the Georgia Olympic Development Program from 2001-05 … played club soccer with OSU’s Danny Irizarry.

#28 Corey March, fr., GK: Did not see action as a freshman in 2006 … Career highlights: 272 saves in H.S. … had 131 saves and scored 2 goals as a sr. … as a jr. had 115 saves and one goal and helped lead his team to sectional and district titles.

#11 Scott Marguglio, so., Def. (0 g., 0 a.): Did not see action in 2006 … Career highlights: Academic All-Big Ten … left-footed, athletic … ability to serve the ball accurately, good defensive ability … 7 games as fr. in a back-up role … assisted on Geoff Marsh’s goal to give OSU a 3-0 lead at Louisville 10/12/05.

#24 Byron Neal, r-fr., GK: Back-up keeper but did not see action in 2006 … Career highlights: played at Wisconsin last year, transferred to OSU for 2006 spring practice … 4 years of eligibility remaining.

#26 Luke Purpero, fr., Fwd. (0 g., 0 a.): Played in 4 games as a freshman, 58 min. … set up OSU’s goal in exh. vs. Dayton, Magill scored off rebound … Career highlights: left-footed speedster … all-time goals scored (156) and points (349) leader in Ohio HS history … 1st-team All-Ohio selection 3 times … state-record 53 goals as sr.

#21 Adam Tenhundfeld, fr., Def. (0 g., 0 a.): Did not see action in the 2006 regular season … 11 min. in exh. vs. Bradley … Career highlights: high on coaches’ list of potential impact newcomers … led Lakota West to district final as a senior (captain, defensive MVP) … team was district and regional champs his sophomore and junior seasons … helped Firebirds shut out 14 opponents his junior season, which ranked among the Top 10 best seasons in OHSAA history.

### GO BUCKS! ###