Seventh Annual FirstMerit Bank Connor Senn Memorial Game to kick off at 7 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium

COLUMBUS, Ohio The legacy of Connor Senn will never be forgotten.

More than six years after his passing, “Play Like Connor Today” continues to be the mantra for the Ohio State men’s soccer team. The Buckeyes and the Columbus Crew will pay tribute to Connor again Tuesday night in the Seventh Annual FirstMerit Bank Connor Senn Memorial Game.

The game will kick off at 7 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. All proceeds will benefit the Connor Senn Memorial Fund at Ohio State, which has raised more than $100,000 to date. A silent auction featuring signed OSU memorabilia, among many other items, will take place inside the stadium up through halftime.

“As always, the guys are really looking forward to the match against the Crew,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “It is always our best opportunity of the spring to measure ourselves against a good opponent. We appreciate the efforts of the Crew, especially from a front-office standpoint with their gifts for the silent auction and to the team itself for coming over to play us.”

Log on to to listen to the Buckeyes take on the Crew Tuesday. Josh Ellis and Gabe Norris will have the call on the home of the Ohio State student radio station.

The Sixth Annual Connor Senn Memorial Game brought in a record $23,000 last year and is expected to surpass that total Tuesday night thanks for corporate and private donations, the silent auction and ticket sales.

“Everything we had hoped the game would become has happened as a result of the hard work of the committee, led by Dave Tumbas and the members of the board of directors,” Bluem said. “The quality of the evening has become much better now from all standpoints, from the soccer match, to the silent auction and the crowds have been getting bigger every year.”

The game would not be what it is without the generous support of the Columbus Crew, who travel to the Ohio State campus every spring and raise the excitement, publicity and status of the event.

“The fundraising efforts have taken a new step forward this year with First Merit Bank becoming a named sponsor and R&L Carriers joining as an associate named sponsor,” Bluem said. “The Crew continues to be inspirational in their efforts to support this game. Mark McCullers, in particular, has been great to the game’s board of directors. The Crew’s spirit remains the same and they come over with the idea that it’s a fundraiser and they want to put on a show. They play very attractive soccer and make it an entertaining game. They are not concerned with the result necessarily as they are participating in the fundraising efforts.”

The Connor Senn Memorial Fund was established by Dr. Lance Senn, Connor’s father and a former member of the Ohio State tennis team. Connor collapsed during Ohio State’s match at Akron Sept. 26, 2001 and died that night from a congenital heart defect. A native of Granville, Ohio, Connor was a freshman walk-on defender who had earned a starting position midway through the 2001 season. The Buckeyes went on to be selected for the NCAA tournament that season.

The legacy of Connor Senn will never be forgotten at Ohio State. A plaque honoring Connor hangs outside the Buckeyes’ locker room door and Connor’s chair hangs in the locker room, which all the players on the 2001 team signed with personal messages to Connor, who was known for his tremendous work ethic, positive attitude and selfless play.

“Play Like Connor Today” is the mantra of the Ohio State men’s soccer program and it has carried them to five trips to the NCAA tournament this decade and to the 2007 national championship game.

Those wishing to make a contribution to the Connor Senn Memorial Scholarship Fund can do so by sending a check to Kristyn Carman, The Ohio State University, Gift Processing, The Fawcett Center, Room 709, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210 (account #410775). Please include your name and return address so you may receive documentation of your charitable contribution from Ohio State for your tax records.

Ohio State has seven starters back from its 2007 team that won the Big Ten and went on a 15-game unbeaten streak that took the Buckeyes all the way to the national championship game. Ohio State went 17-4-5 overall, shut out Indiana twice and eliminated Louisville, defending national champion UC-Santa Barbara and Bradley to reach the College Cup in Cary, N.C. There, the Buckeyes knocked off UMass in the semifinals and led No. 1 Wake Forest, 1-0, before the Demon Deacons scored two second-half goals to take home the title.

Starters back for Ohio State include defenders Tim Gabel, Doug Verhoff and Patrick Roan, midfielders Danny Irizarry, Geoff Marsh and Matt Gold and forward Andrew Magill.

The annual Ohio State men’s soccer alumni game was held last Sunday and 19 former Buckeyes returned for the game.

“It’s great to have such a good number of people come back between the alumni game and the golf outing, which is June 7 this year,” Bluem said. “It’s great to see the players return to campus again and renew old acquaintances and make new friends with the current players. We sincerely appreciate the support of our alumni.”

Check out for a complete spring season preview.

The 2007 Ohio State Buckeyes were honored March 29 in Columbus Crew Stadium at halftime of the Crew’s season opener against Toronto FC.

This spring, the Buckeyes will be out to replace seven seniors and junior Roger Espinoza from their 2007 team that went 17-4-5. Starters gone include goalkeeper Casey Latchem, defender Eric Brunner, Roger Espinoza in the midfield and forward Xavier Balc. Espinoza was the 11th pick by Kansas City in the MLS SuperDraft and is on the Wizard’s active roster, while Brunner was the 16th pick by New York and is on the Red Bulls’ active roster. Balc, who was taken in the Supplemental Draft, and Latchem are seeking a professional team in either the MLS or Division I USISL.

Ohio State head coach John Bluem is back in the radio broadcast booth at Crew Stadium this season to be the color analyst for Crew home games on 610 WTVN. Neil Sika is back as the play-by-play announcer.

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