Oct. 25, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team faces its final non-conference foe of the season when it travels to Oakland for a 7 p.m. contest Wednesday at the OU Soccer Field. The Buckeyes, who end the regular season with three-consecutive road games beginning against the Grizzlies, are 8-5-2 on the season after knocking off Penn State, 1-0, in overtime Sunday. After back-to-back wins against IPFW and Detroit, Oakland fell 1-0 to Western Illinois last Saturday. Admission to the game Wednesday is free.
LIVE ACTION The Oakland game can be followed via Gametracker, linked from the front page and men’s soccer schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
IN A NUTSHELL At 8-5-2, Ohio State is unbeaten in four of its last five games (3-1-1) and has shut out three of its last four opponents, including Penn State, 1-0, in the team’s last outing. With a Big Ten-leading eight goals, junior midfielder Chris Hegngi has paced the Ohio State attack this season, which is ranked second in the Big Ten in total scoring (4.27 ppg) and goals (1.53 gpg) this season. Sebastian Rivas (4g, 1a), Austin McAnena (3g, 2a), Parnell Hegngi (2g, 3a), and Omar Vallejo (4a) also have produced offensively for the Buckeyes. The Ohio State defense, headlined by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year David Tiemstra, has allowed an average of 1.20 goals per game. First Team All-Big Ten goalkeeper Matt Lampson has made all 15 starts and has 1.17 goals-against average with four shutouts. Six Buckeye players have started all 15 games this season with the remaining five spots divided among nine players. As many as three starting spots have gone to rookies this season and a total of 12 players have tallied at least one point with 18 assists on 18 of the team’s 23 goals.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES Oakland is 4-10-1 on the season, but has earned three of those wins on its home field and is 3-3-1 in all contests at OU Soccer Field. Jeff Cheslik is Oakland’s top scorer with four goals this season, while Jake Przybycien also has eight points with three goals and two assists and Jon Evans has a team-best four assists. Prior to a 1-0 loss to Summit League-leading Western Illinois last weekend, the Grizzlies had rattled off a pair of back-to-back wins.
SERIES HISTORY VS. OAKLAND Ohio State is 9-0-2 all-time vs. Oakland, including a 2-0 win in Columbus last season. Three of the meetings in the series have gone to overtime, including the last match between the two teams at the OU Soccer Field in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. That match ended in a 0-0 draw with Ohio State advancing in a shootout.
THE RACE IS ON The battle for the regular-season title will be tighter than ever when Big Ten teams return to conference action this weekend. Northwestern is atop the Big Ten conference with 10 points and a 3-0-1 record, while Ohio State is tied with Wisconsin in second with nine points and 3-1-0 records. Following Indiana in fourth (2-1-1), Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State round out the standings. Six of the seven teams have two games remaining with Penn State excluded as having just one.
HOME COOKING Ohio State holds a 79-27-15 record in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1999, including at least six wins in each of the last five seasons, including 2011 as the Buckeyes finished the regular season 6-2 at JOMS this season. A 12-game home unbeaten streak, dating back to the start of the 2010 season, was snapped Sept. 21 in the 1-0 loss to Louisville.
LAST TIME OUT Austin McAnena scored in the 96th minute to give the Ohio State men’s soccer team a 1-0 overtime win vs. Penn State Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. McAnena secured the Buckeyes’ third overtime victory of the season when he collected a pass from Parnell Hegngi on the left side of the penalty area and sent a shot that found its way through the legs of Penn State goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton and into the opposite corner. The score was McAnena’s third of the season and second game winner. Penn State controlled tempo for much of the game, but was unable to break through the stout Buckeye defense, which secured its third shutout in four games and fourth of the season off the strength of All-Big Ten First Teamers Matt Lampson and David Tiemstra.
NEXT UP The Buckeyes have two remaining Big Ten matches on the schedule as they head to Wisconsin and Indiana, Oct. 30 and Nov. 5, respectively. The Buckeyes and Badgers, who currently are tied for second in the conference, meet at 2 p.m. ET next Sunday in Madison.