Oct. 19, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Chris Hegngi scored in the 72nd minute to lift the Ohio State men’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Wright State Friday evening at cold and rain-soaked Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes improved to 6-8-1 with the win, while the Raiders drop to 3-10-1 with the loss.

“I’m very happy our guys were able to go out there and get a victory against a good Wright State Team,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “It is always nice to play well and see results on the scoreboard. Wright State has a tough season, like we have, and they are better than their record. Both teams played hard tonight and this was a good win.”

Sage Gardner also scored in the contest, putting the Buckeyes on top 1-0 before Wright State equalized towards the end of the first half. The senior captain’s second goal of the season came in the 27th minute when Joshua Breto was taken down inside the penalty area and Gardner buried the free shot beyond the reach of WSU keeper Jacob Bye.

The Raiders pressed up and nearly tied the score seconds later when Erik Anderson blasted the crossbar from 20 yards out. Some 13 minutes later, Anderson helped level the score when he found Brett Elder along the left side of the six-yard box and Elder placed his team-leading sixth goal of the year inside the lower right 90 for a 1-1 score.

The remainder of the first half passed without event and the teams headed into the intermission in a deadlock.

Ohio State controlled the tempo in the opening minutes of the second period and by the 68th minute had momentum in its favor. Austin McAnena sailed a free kick just over the crossbar and the team was granted three-consecutive corner kicks, finally capitalizing in the seconds following the third.

Brady Wahl and Zach Mason teamed up on the assists, playing the ball through the penalty area to Hegngi, who continued the forward motion and sent the shot into the right side of the net for the go-ahead goal. The Hermann Trophy candidate now has two goals on the season.

“It was a great way to cap off a hard day’s work,” Hegngi said of his score. “We practiced really well all week and were ready for this game today so it was nice to come away with a win.”

The Raiders had a smattering of chances down the stretch, but the Buckeyes held on for their sixth win of the year and fourth on their home field.

Ohio State out-shot the Raiders 17-12 on the night and held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks. Bye finished with seven saves in goal for WSU, while the Buckeyes’ Alex Wimmer was only forced to make two on top of a handful of stellar defensive players.

The Scarlet and Gray now prepare for third-ranked Akron’s visit to JOMS at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The Zips are 10-1-2 on the year and riding a seven-game win streak heading into their Saturday game vs. West Virginia. Akron is out-scoring opponents 30-5 on the year and has the eighth-ranked scoring offense in the country.