Aug. 8, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s soccer senior Ben Fitzpatrick won the PDL championship last Saturday as the Michigan Bucks defeated Calgary Foothills FC, 3-2, in the 2016 PDL championship at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich. Fitzpatrick, an incoming midfielder on the 2016 Buckeyes, helped the Bucks to a 16-2-0 overall record in route to their league-record third championship.  

Fitzpatrick, from Hilliard, Ohio, was a three-time All-Region selection for Urbana University from 2013-15. Last year as co-captain, Fitzpatrick picked up first team honors after registering four goals and four assists for the Blue Knights. As one of Urbana’s top scoring threats, Fitzpatrick most notably scored the game-winning goal during the program’s first NCAA Tournament game in school history, which ended up as a 1-0 victory over No. 21 Millersville. Prior to his time in Urbana, Fitzpatrick was a four-year starter at Hilliard Bradley High School.

The proven developmental leader (PDL) in North American soccer’s evolving tiered structure, the 2016 PDL season features 67 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Eleven of the PDL’s current members are owned and operated by a Major League Soccer or United Soccer League club. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with 70 percent of all MLS draftees having PDL experience. The PDL provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.