Aug. 26, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 18th-ranked Ohio State men’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 exhibition match to Cincinnati Friday night in the College Cup Preview Match in Columbus Crew Stadium. Two Buckeye goalkeepers had three saves the OSU defense denied numerous Bearcat scoring chances, but UC’s Omar Cummings notched a rebound goal, his third tally of the preseason, in the 41st minute that would hold up as the lone goal of the night.
In the opening exhibition contest Friday, Ohio Wesleyan shut out Ohio Dominican, 2-0, scoring both goals in the first 14 minutes of the match.
Ohio State, with eight starters back from its NCAA `Sweet 16′ team a year ago, concludes its exhibition schedule with an 0-2-0 record. Cincinnati, which has five starters back from its 2004 squad that went 7-10-3, is 2-0-0 in the preseason.
“This was probably our second exhibition where the other team has out-competed us,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “We’re learning about what players can and can’t do. That will help set it for the start of the actual season, which is one week from today. Our offense has not had much success and when we get to the top we haven’t finished the chances we do make.”
Cincinnati out-shot Ohio State, 13-7, but had only one more shot on goal, 4-3. The Buckeyes were without starters Dustin Kirby (Jr., Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and Taylor Korpieski (Jr., Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington).
Cincinnati’s Omar Cummings, who scored both Bearcats goals in UC’s 2-0 win over Marshall last Sunday, put his squad up, 1-0, in the 41st minute. Teammate Mikhail Awai took a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box, which was blocked by an Ohio State defender. The rebound found the right foot of Cummings on the upper right side of the 6-yard box, and he sent it to the back of the left side of the goal past OSU senior goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. (Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier). Other than the Cummings goal, the Buckeyes turned away several Bearcat scoring chances in the first half. Ohio State junior Brent Rohrer (Springfield, Ohio/ Catholic) and sophomore Eric Brunner (Dublin, Ohio/ Scioto/Maryland) denied UC shots, both on one-on-one situations, with Rohrer’s coming in the 24th minute on Cummings and Brunner’s coming in the 38th minute on UC’s Brad Simpson.
Burse finished with two saves for Ohio State, while sophomore goalkeeper Casey Latchem (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) had one save in 30:03 minutes of work.
“We didn’t show enough emotion tonight,” Rohrer said. “We came in strong, but broke down by the second half. We did have people in different positions tonight due to some injuries, but we are going to need to pick it up.”
OSU sophomore Ryan Kustos (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) was sent off the field in the 81st minute with a non-contact red card, and the Buckeyes were unable to put away the equalizer playing a man down.
Brunner and junior Jim Fisher (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) came up with key defensive plays to keep the Buckeyes in striking distance.
“We now know the structure for how we should handle the ball, because we were careless at times tonight,” Rohrer said. “We need to come out next weekend and play with more heart.”
The Buckeyes open the 2005 regular season next weekend as hosts of the Ohio State Classic in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU will face Marquette at 7:30 p.m. Friday and take on No. 8 New Mexico at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. No. 23 Penn State will also compete in the Classic.
“We’re going to work on our weaknesses,” Bluem said. “That’s why there is an exhibition season; to see where to work. We’re going to work on our fitness and we’re going to work on finishing.”
### GO BUCKS! ###