Oct. 7, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team fell to Michigan State, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The loss drops the Buckeyes to 4-7-1 overall and winless in the Big Ten through three games, while the Spartans are now 4-6-1 on the season and 1-1-0 in the conference.

Sophomore transfer Yianni Sarris scored his first goal as a Buckeye, cutting into the two-goal deficit late in the second half off an assist from fellow sophomore Zach Dobey, who earned his first career point on the play. Other than the late-game goal, however, little else stood out positively at the end of the day.

“I am extremely disappointed in our team,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “That was a very bad performance. There was no courage. We lacked effort; we lacked discipline. Nobody wants to work hard.”

Ohio State controlled the majority of possession in the first half, out-shooting the Spartans 10-4 by the intermission, but the second frame produced a different story. MSU found the back of the net twice within two minutes midway through the second half and the Buckeyes were unable to battle back.

Luke Norman opened scoring in the 68th minute with a shot from the top of the penalty area that ended up inside the far left post with an assist by Blake Skamiera. Just under two minutes later, Sean Conerty scored the eventual game-winner, finishing off a pass from Nike Wilson with a shot from the left side of the goal box into the far side of the net.

Sarris cut the 2-0 lead in half late in the 81st minute after Dobey sent him a cross out towards the left side of the penalty area and he was able to put it inside the near post. The Buckeyes failed to produce another scoring opportunity down the stretch and they remain in search of their first conference win after three games for the first time since 1993 when they finished 0-5 in Big Ten play.

The Buckeyes finished on top in shots, 14-10, and corners, 6-4. Both goalkeepers finished made four saves, three apiece in the first half and one in the second..

Three of Ohio State’s next four games also are in JOMS, beginning Wednesday vs. the in-state rival Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to play soccer bingo during the contest vs. the Falcons, in addition to partaking in Buck-a-Brat or Burger Night (while supplies last).