Buckeyes close out regular season Friday against Akron at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. The Ohio State men’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 18 Michigan Saturday afternoon at the U-M Soccer Complex in front of 1,007 fans. The loss drops the Buckeyes’ record to 9-6-2 on the season and 2-4-0 in the Big Ten, while the Wolverines improve to 11-4-2 overall and 3-1-1 in the conference.
Perica Marosevic scored the lone goal of the game late in the 82nd minute for Michigan off an assist by Chris Cameron. The goal increased Marosevic team-leading point total to 23 off 10 goals and three assists.
“I feel badly for our guys after this game,” head coach John Bluem said. “I thought the game was pretty even in the first half, but we clearly dominated in the second and it is unfortunate that the game ended the way that it did.”
The Buckeyes took some time to find their rhythm in the first half, but continued to put pressure on Michigan up front. Tim Gabel started off the play that nearly put Ohio State on the board in the 24th minute when his free kick was saved by Michigan’s Patrick Sperry but dropped back into play. Doug Verhoff’s attempted shot hit the underside of the crossbar and went into the goal, but the team was deemed offsides and the score remained 0-0.
The opportunity sparked Michigan’s defense into committing five fouls in the ensuing three minutes of action in an attempt to take Ohio State off its game. The Wolverines would post the final three shots of the period, with Jake Stacy’s rocket in the 42nd minute being saved by a diving Byron Neal, who finished the contest with three saves.
The tempo of the second period remained consistent with the first as the Buckeyes continued to post a steady barrage of scoring opportunities against Michigan’s choppy defense. Coming off a corner kick by Danny Irizarry at 64:02, there was a melee five yards out with shots by Gabel and Joshua Breto before Sperry was able to gain control.
Sam Scales was next to get in on the action, in the 70th minute, when the sophomore midfielder caught the Michigan keeper out of the box and sent his shot from 45 yards out towards the open goal, but it went just right.
Michigan started to pick up the offensive pressure and tallied each of the next three shots before earning the late-game goal. Late in the 82nd minute, Cameron flicked the ball over to Marosevic in the top of the penalty area. The Wolverine forward sent a shot across the area and into the lower right corner. Irizarry got the lone shot off in the final eight minutes for the Buckeyes, sending it wide right.
Michigan edged Ohio State, 15-14, in shots, while both teams put up five corner kicks.
The Buckeyes close out the regular season Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 2 Akron at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The match will serve as Senior Night for six Buckeye student-athletes: Drew Czekanski, Tim Gabel, German Gomez, Danny Irizarry, Geoff Marsh and Patrick Roan.