Sep 3, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Alex Ivanov, a junior goalkeeper on the Ohio State men’s soccer team, earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors, the league announced Tuesday. Ivanov played all 194 minutes of Ohio State’s two home matches against UNC-Wilmington (Aug. 30), a 2-1 double overtime loss, and Northern Illinois (Sept. 1), a 2-0 win for the Buckeyes.
The Strongsville, Ohio, native stopped two penalty kick opportunities in the second half to cement the Ohio State’s two-goal win over the Huskies in the finale of the eighth annual Wolstein Classic Sunday. The clean sheet was the first of Ivanov’s career and Ohio State’s first shutout win since Oct. 10, 2012, a span of eight games.
“To stop one PK takes a tremendous amount of focus, to save two was very cool to see,” Taly Goode, Ohio State’s goalkeeping and assistant coach, said. “Alex worked hard in the offseason and it is encouraging to see him get his first shutout. We have a lot of new players trying to work together, so I think this game will give Alex more confidence moving forward and hopefully the team more confidence in him.”
With Ohio State up 1-0, Northern Illinois had the first of several opportunities to equalize in the 63rd minute when it drew a penalty kick opportunity, but Ivanov got down low to make the save and the Buckeye defense cleared the deflection back into play. Less than 10 minutes later, the OSU keeper started the forward motion which led to Ohio State’s two-goal advantage. Ivanov pushed the ball back into play with another save and 48 seconds later, Ryan Ivancic scored his first OSU career tally to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead.
In the final 10 minutes of action, the Huskies hit the post and crossbar and had a second PK chance thwarted by Ivanov. Late in the 82nd minute, he stopped the shot by Issac Kannah and collected it off the bounce to stymy further chances off a rebound.
This is the first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor for Ivanov and the first for Ohio State since Matt Lampson (Oct. 31, 2011). He shares the conference spotlight with Michigan’s James Murphy, who was named the offensive POW, who tallied a combined five points with two goals and one assist against Loyola-Chicago (Aug. 30) and Bowling Green (Sept. 2).
Ivanov and the Buckeyes return to the pitch in the Hurricane Classic next weekend in Tulsa, Okla. Ohio State will face host and No. 22 Tulsa at 8:30 p.m. ET Friday before meeting Southern Methodist at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. Gametracker will be available for both matches, while live video will accessible for the matchup with the Hurricanes, all of which will be linked through the men’s soccer schedule on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.