Aug. 22, 2003
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team dropped a 5-0 decision to Southern Methodist University Friday night in the College Cup Preview Match held in Crew Stadium. SMU, ranked No. 5 in the NSCAA/adidas preseason national poll, will be aiming for their third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament this season, while Ohio State is looking for a return to the postseason after appearances in 2000 and 2001.
“SMU is a great team,” Ohio State head coach John Bluem said. “This was a good test for us. I think our guys realize that if we want to get to the next level, we are going to need more intensity.”
In the opener, Ohio Wesleyan topped Rio Grande 2-1 as Heath Smith scored two goals. He netted the game-winner in the 80th minute to negate a 14-9 shot advantage by Rio Grande.
Against Ohio State, SMU goalkeepers T.J. Tomasso and Erick Foss combined for three saves, with two of those coming on Buckeye solo break-aways. SMU out-shot Ohio State 7-3 in the first half en route to a 2-0 halftime lead. The Mustangs then tacked on three more goals during a 15-minute span early in the second half to put the game away.
“Defensively they picked us apart,” Bluem said. “I’m a little disappointed with our effort and hopefully we can rebound in our next game.”
The Buckeyes will open the season Aug. 29 and 31 at the Cal State Fullerton Classic in Fullerton, Calif. Ohio State will meet host Cal State Fullerton on Aug. 29 before meeting defending NCAA national champion UCLA on Aug. 31.
“Today’s game was a big wake up call,” senior defender Matt McCune said. “This was definitely a lesson to our older and younger players. We need to have a good week of practice and improve our game for next week.”
The Buckeyes are already looking forward to getting the 2003 season underway against Cal State Fullerton next Friday.
“I have been looking forward to this game since it has been on the schedule,” senior midfielder AJ Weber said. “It is going to be exciting to go out to California and play two tough teams.”
Crew Stadium will host the College Cup, the national championship of NCAA soccer, December 12 and 14.
## GO BUCKS! ##