Oct. 29, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second time in the last two weeks, the Ohio State men’s soccer team went on the road and knocked off a ranked opponent as the Buckeyes handed No. 25 Northwestern a 2-1 loss in overtime in Evanston, Ill., Friday. With the win, Ohio State improves to 8-5-2 overall and 4-1-0 in the Big Ten, which guarantees the Buckeyes a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament Nov. 11-14.
The win also marked the second time in the last nine days Ohio State has knocked off the No. 3 ranked team in the NSCAA Great Lakes regional poll, where the Buckeyes are No. 7. Last Wednesday, Ohio State won 2-1 at Oakland, who was the region’s No. 3 team at the time. Northwestern falls to 10-4-2 overall and 2-2-1 in the Big Ten.
“We were clearly the better team, but Northwestern is a tough team to play against and they defend very well,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “For us to knock off the No. 3 team in our region for the second week in a row is very satisfying. We must be considered one of the top teams in the region now.”
Northwestern’s John Carlstedt put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the third minute of play, which is where the score would remain through halftime and most of the second half. Then in the 87th minute Ohio State freshman Ryan Kustos (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) scored the equalizer on a close-range header off an assist from sophomore Taylor Korpieski (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington). The goal was Kustos’ third of the season, while the assist for Korpieski was his team-leading fifth of the season.
Ohio State out-shot Northwestern 9-2 in the second half, with two of those shots bouncing off the cross bar from the foot of senior captain Justin Cook (Winter Springs, Fla./Oviedo). The match went into overtime tied 1-1, where Cook would work some magic to send Ohio State away with the victory. After nearly ending the match early in overtime with a shot that hit the post, Cook controlled the ball on the Buckeye half of the field and spotted Northwestern goalkeeper Justin Pines out in front of the 18-yard box. Cook then launched a line drive shot from 60 yards away that streaked over the head of Pines and hit the back of the net to end the match at the 98:27 mark.
Cook, the leading scorer in the Big Ten, collected his 10th goal of the season with the game-winner, his fourth of the season. He took eight shots in the match, just two off his career high.
Ohio State out-shot Northwestern 19-9 in the contest. In their last 10 games, the Buckeyes are 7-2-1. After last beating a ranked team in 2001, Ohio State has collected two such wins this season, as the Buckeyes shut out No. 20 Penn State 3-0 on the road Oct. 17.
OSU junior goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. (Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier) saw his record improve to 6-2-1 with the victory. He did not have a save Friday.
Ohio State will stay on the road for a match at 1 p.m. Sunday at Valparaiso before finishing the regular season at Michigan Nov. 6.
“Our players were extremely excited to earn this win,” Bluem said, “but we must be prepared to come down off this high and go to Valparaiso Sunday ready to play because Valparaiso is a dangerous team.”
### GO BUCKS! ###