Oct. 3, 2002

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Columbus, Ohio- After completing a perfect weekend with wins over Wisconsin and Akron and extending its winning streak to four games, the Ohio State men’s soccer team (6-3, 1-0) will look to keep the momentum going when they play host to the Michigan State Spartans (7-2, 1-1) at 2 p.m Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 5 in the NSCAA/adidas Great Lakes Region poll while the Spartans sit at No. 4.

The Spartans
Michigan State comes into its contest with the Buckeyes red hot, winning six of its last seven contests and seven of nine overall. They are led by senior goalkeeper Tyler Robinson who leads the Big Ten in saves (43) and saves per game (6.14). Robinson also is second in shutouts with four in seven games. Michigan State also leads the conference in overall saves with 54. The MSU offense is led by senior Brett Konley and sophomore Jordan Gruber. Both Jordan and Gruber are among the top 10 in the conference in shots, points, goals, shots per game, points per game and goals per game. (stats are through Sept. 30)

Michigan State Last Time Out
The Spartans are coming off a 4-0 drubbing of Loyola-Chicago Wednesday night in East Lansing. Senior Brett Konley set the tone early, scoring the first of four MSU goals in the second minute of play. Loyola was unable to convert on any scoring opportunities. Goalkeepers Tyler Robinson made three saves before being replaced with just over 25 minutes to go by Mike Robinson, who made two saves.

The Series
The Spartans own the all-time series, posting an 18-8-2 record all-time against the Buckeyes. Michigan State won the last meeting with a 2-1 win at the 2001 Big Ten tournament in Madison, Wis. OSU’s last win against the Spartans was during the 1998 campaign, a 5-0 win in Columbus.

MSU Head Coach Joe Baum
Joe Baum is in his 26th season as the head men’s soccer coach in East Lansing. A two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, Baum has guided the Spartans to 15 winning seasons and an overall mark of 249-187-38. Last season, Baum led MSU to a 13-6-1 record and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1969, advancing to the second round. Baum was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2000 after posting four conference wins, the most in school history.

OSU-Wisconsin/Akron Recap
Jason Ryan (So., Spring, Texas) connected on his first goal of the year in the 99th minute of play as the Ohio State men’s soccer team opened its Big Ten season Friday, defeating the Wisconsin Badgers, 1-0, in overtime in front of 935 fans at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Ryan scored from 20-yards out from the right side with Justin Cook notching his fifth assist of the year. The win improves Ohio State’s record to 5-3 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten while Wisconsin falls to 6-3 and 0-1 in the conference.

Ohio State head coach John Bluem said he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“Wisconsin is a very good team,” Bluem said. “I thought we were in control for most of the match but we were unable to penetrate and get chances because their defense was so good. We finally got a good break at the end on a counter-attack and Jason made a nice play.”

Both teams had chances early on. Ohio State had four shots in the first half to Wisconsin’s three, but neither team was able to convert. The Buckeyes out shot the Badgers, 11-6, overall.

“Both teams went after it hard in the first half and things started to slow down in the second,” Bluem said. “Both teams seemed to be running out of gas. We tried to make sure we had fresh legs in the end and I think that may have been a factor.”

The match turned physical after halftime as 22 penalties were called in the second period. Overall, 40 penalties were called during the game along with four yellow cards.

Against Akron (9-29) junior Justin Cook (Jr. Winter Springs, Fla.) notched his second goal of the season and fellow forward Jason Ryan (So., Spring, Texas) scored his second goal in as many games as the Ohio State men’s soccer team finished off a perfect weekend with a 2-0 win over in-state rival Akron at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The win was the fourth-consecutive for the Buckeyes who improve their record to 6-3-0 on the season. The loss drops Akron to 1-4-2.

The match started out physical as 20 fouls were called in the first half. Overall the match featured five yellow cards, four for Akron and one for Ohio State.

After a scoreless first half of play the Buckeyes turned on the offense in the second half where they showered Zip goalkeeper, Justin Christafaris, with eight shots.

Ohio State got on the board in the 53rd minute when Cook netted a header from the top of the six-yard box off a cross from senior Andy Rosenband (Hammond, Ind.). The Buckeyes notched an insurance goal in the 71st minute when Ryan scored off a cross from teammate A.J. Weber (Jr., Aurora, Colo.).

“We are very pleased to win today,” Ohio State head coach John Bluem said. “Akron is a quality opponent. Their record does not reflect how good they really are. To win two games this weekend is what we were looking for. This is our fourth-straight win and hopefully this will turn things around for us.”

Chad Brown (So., Rockford, Ill.) continued his solid play, stopping all four shots that came his way during the contest, earning his fourth shutout of the season.

Ryan Captures Big Ten Honor
Sophomore forward Jason Ryan (So., Spring, Texas) was selected as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Wisconsin and Akron, the Big Ten announced Monday. Ryan scored two goals over the weekend, including the game winner in overtime against Wisconsin, helping the Buckeyes win their fourth-consecutive match and improve their record to 6-3 on the year.

Ryan came off the bench to score the game-winning goal Friday against the Badgers in overtime on a 20-yard strike from the right side, giving the Buckeyes the win in the first Big Ten match of the season. Ryan then notched his second goal in as many games Sunday in a 2-0 win over Akron. Ryan now has five points to his credit on the year.

“Jason has had a difficult time the last year and a half with his back injury and now seems to be re-gaining strength and form he showed as a freshman,” Ohio State head coach John Bluem said. “Jason scored two important goals for us over the weekend and is very deserving of this honor.”

Buckeyes Among Top Three In Several Catergories
OSU is No. 1 in the Big Ten in cornerkicks (60), No. 2 in goals allowed (7), shutouts (5), goals allowed per game (0.78). The Buckeyes are third in the conference with 133 shots, a 14.8 shot per game average.

The Buckeyes
Senior forward Andy Rosenband is the leading goal scorer for the Buckeyes thus far in 2002. He has posted ten points (4 G, 2 A), including three game-winners and 11 shots-on-goal.

Junior forward Justin Cook, MVP of the 2002 Scarlet and Gray Classic, has played an important role as well, recording four assists, two goals and eight shots-on-goal. Freshman Kevin Nugent has been a solid force up front recording three goals in his young freshman season for six points. Reigning Big Ten player of the week Jason Ryan has come on of late, scoring two goals last weekend to bump his point total to five on the year. Senior captain Tony Earp also has one goal on the season as well as A.J. Weber and Matt McCune.

Goalkeeper Chad Brown (5-3-0) has picked up his play in net for the Buckeyes. Brown has started seven of the team’s nine matches, recording 16 saves in over 657 minutes of play. Brown has shared time with red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Jason Wimmert who is 1-0 with four saves in 180 minutes of play.

Tomaino Closing In On Assist Record
Senior midfielder John Tomaino needs just three assists to become OSU’s all-time assists leader. He remains one behind Mark Sotherden and two behind Brooks Humphreys and Bill Clegg.

OSU All-Time Assist Leaders

No. Total Years 1. Bill Clegg 17 1982-85 Brooks Humphreys 17 1997-2000 3. Mark Sotherden 16 1991-94 4. John Tomaino 15 1999- 5. Drew Kleinschmidt 14 1980-83 6. Brian Feldhaus 12 1997-2000 Dave Spitz 12 1983-86 8. Todd Young 11 1987-89 David Cass 11 1989-92

Bluem In Sixth Year At OSU
Now in his sixth year at the helm of Ohio State men’s soccer, John Bluem is coming off a season that saw his Buckeyes earn their second consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament and their first ever at-large bid in 2001. Bluem also led his team to its highest ranking in program history, a No. 10 ranking in the NSCAA/adidas Men’s Division I National Poll.

Bluem’s Buckeyes jumped out of the starting blocks fast in 2002, capturing the Scarlet and Gray Classic championship with impressive wins over East Carolina and Richmond. The Buckeyes then lost its next three games by very close margins to Loyola Marymount, Fresno State and American. Since then Ohio State has caught fire, winning four-consecutive matches against Villanova (9-15), Bowling Green (9-20), Wisconsin (9-27) and Akron (9-30).

Bluem’s career record at Ohio State now sits at 58-39-11 with a 15-13-4 mark in the Big Ten.

Set The Mark
Head coach John Bluem and the men’s soccer team would like to invite all fans, friends and family to attend the Sunday Oct. 20 match at home against No. 4 Indiana and set a new Big Ten attendance mark. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. The current record is 4,600 which was set by Penn State when they hosted Indiana on Sept. 30, 1994.

Follow The Buckeyes Online
Information on the Ohio State men’s soccer team and the 35 other Buckeye sports is available online at the official website of the Ohio State Athletic Department,

Next Up
The Buckeyes will return to action at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 9 at home against the Louisville Cardinals. OSU then travels to State College, Pa. Sunday Oct. 13 to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in an important Big Ten showdown. Game time is 3:30 p.m.