Ohio State earns sixth tournament appearance under head coach John Bluem 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team begins its quest for a second-consecutive appearance in the NCAA College Cup final 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round against Oakland in Rochester, Mich., at the OU Soccer Field. This marks the sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the Buckeyes, who fell to Wake Forest in the 2007 national championship game.

“I am vey happy for all of our players” said head coach John Bluem. “They certainly deserve the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament, despite a rocky end to the regular season. We are looking forward to taking the field Saturday with new goals and a rejuvenated team.”

The winner of the game Saturday will face No. 5-seed Akron on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Akron in the second round.

The Buckeyes finished the 2008 regular season with a 9-8-2 overall record and a 2-4-0 mark in the Big Ten. Seven teams on Ohio State’s schedule this season are in the tournament field, including four conference foes. A total of five Big Ten teams made the cut, tying the Big East for the second most of any conference, with the ACC carrying six bids.

The Buckeyes are 6-0-1 all-time against Oakland, who is 14-4-1 this season after falling in the Summit League championship game over the weekend. The Golden Grizzlies advanced to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament with a win over Michigan State to become the first Summit League team to win a first-round game.

In this year’s tournament field, Wake Forest is the top seed for the second-consecutive season after the Demon Deacons went 18-1-1 before falling in the ACC Final. Maryland is the No. 2 seed, followed by St. John’s (N.Y.), Michigan State and the Zips to round out the Top 5.