Nov. 5, 2006
Final Stats | Photo Gallery
COLUMBUS, Ohio – 10th-ranked and top-seeded Indiana overcame Ohio State’s 19-8 shot advantage to win the Big Ten men’s soccer championship, 1-0, Sunday over the host and second-seeded Buckeyes in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers (14-4-2), who win their 11th Big Ten title since 1991, scored on a rebound goal in the 39th minute and held on to clinch the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Ohio State (11-7-3), which hosted and won the Big Ten championship in 2000, came up just short in its bid for a repeat. When the 48-team field for the NCAA tournament is announced at 4 p.m. Monday on ESPNews, the Buckeyes will look for an at-large bid, which would be their program-best third in a row.
“I would be extremely disappointed if Ohio State does not get in the NCAA tournament,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “If you look at the last 11 games, we have a record of 8-2-1, and our two losses were against Indiana, who is a nationally ranked team and should get a top seed in the tournament. We put together an 11 win season, so I think we deserve a chance in the tournament.”
Indiana has been outshot only three times this season, with two of those coming to Ohio State. The Buckeyes outshot the Hoosiers 21-12 in a 1-0 loss in the Jesse during the regular-season Oct. 14. Ohio State and Indiana have met nine times in Columbus since 1994. One of those was an OSU win in the semifinals of the 2000 Big Ten Championship, but seven of the other eight contests have resulted in 1-0 Indiana wins.
“I don’t think I should use `should have won.’ That’s a little strong,” Bluem said. “I think `could have won’ might be a better phrase. I think if you look at the game territorially, we had the ball in their end of the field more than they had it in our end of the field. We had more chances, but we weren’t able to put one in.”
Indiana scored its goal when Big Ten Player of the Year Josh Tudela took a free kick from 35 yards out that banged off the cross bar and came back into play, where Brian Ackley headed it in from seven yards out. Ackley was named the offensive player of the championship, while IU goalkeeper Chay Cain was named the defensive player of the championship.
Ohio State junior goalkeeper Casey Latchem (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) and sophomore midfielder Geoff Marsh (North Olmsted, Ohio/North Olmsted) were both named to the all-tournament team. The remainder of the all-tournament team is listed below. Latchem had one save in the championship game and five overall during Ohio State’s three games of the championship. Marsh scored the game-winning goal in OSU’s 1-0 semifinal win over Michigan and also scored in the Buckeyes 3-1 quarterfinal win over Michigan State.
OSU junior Xavier Balc (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) collected a game-high five shots. His first two shots in the seventh and ninth minutes of the game flew just high of the goal as the Buckeyes dominated play early. The Hoosiers had their most possession time in the last 20 minutes of the first half and netted the game’s only goal during that period. In the second half, Ohio State outshot Indiana, 10-1.
Sunday marked the third time Ohio State has played in the Big Ten championship game since the event was first held in 1991. The Buckeyes have faced Indiana two of those times, falling 1-0 both times. The first was in 1997, Bluem’s first season at Ohio State. The Buckeyes knocked off the Hoosiers 1-0 in the semifinals of the 2000 championship on their way to their first conference title.
2006 Big Ten Championship All-Tournament Team
Indiana – Brian Ackley (offensive player of the championship) and Chay Cain (defensive player of the championship)
Ohio State – Casey Latchem and Geoff Marsh
Penn State – Markku Viitanen and Ryan Badaracco
Michigan – Patrick Sperry and Michael Holody
Northwestern – Gerardo Alvarez
Wisconsin – Aaron Hohlbein
Michigan State – Matt Kreikemeier
2006 Big Ten Championship – Indiana 1, Ohio State 0 – Postgame quotes
John Bluem, Ohio State Head Coach
On the game
“We want to congratulate Indiana University for the victory and on the Big Ten championship. We want to wish them the best of luck in the NCAA tournament. I feel good about our team after this game. I thought we conducted ourselves in a sportsmanlike manner. We had some good chances to score and unfortunately we weren’t able to put one in. Indiana’s a smart team and they know how to defend a 1-0 lead.”
On if Ohio State should have won the game after outshooting Indiana 19-8
“I don’t think I should use `should have won.’ That’s a little strong. I think `could have won’ might be a better phrase. I think if you look at the game territorially, we had the ball in their end of the field more than they had it in our end of the field. We had more chances, but we weren’t able to put one in. Then, they get a free kick and were able to go from there. I think the teams are very equal this year.”
On the NCAA tournament
“I would be extremely disappointed if Ohio State does not get in the NCAA tournament. If you look at the last 11 games, we have a record of 8-2-1, and our two losses were against Indiana, who is a nationally ranked team and should get a top seed in the tournament. We put together an 11 win season, so I think we deserve a chance in the tournament.”
Taylor Korpieski, Ohio State senior midfielder
On the game
“We played tough. We knew it would be a tough game and when you play Indiana it’s always a battle. I think we played well and, unfortunately, we came out on the wrong side. I thought we battled well. We couldn’t seem to find the back of the net. It seems like in the last few games we’ve been scoring some goals, but whenever you play Indiana, you have to be prepared to fight.”
Xavier Balc, Ohio State junior forward
On the one goal difference
“In the game of soccer that stuff happens. The ball just doesn’t go in. We played hard all 90 minutes of the game. We just weren’t able to find the back of the net. We knew the Big Ten championship game would be a physical one and everyone wants the title and I don’t think we expected anything else.”
Mike Freitag, Indiana Head Coach
On the game
“I want to thank the Big Ten and Ohio State for hosting a nice tournament. It was very professionally done and it’s real nice when you win. I commend Ohio State, because I knew this would be our toughest game of the year. I have been watching them the last couple of days and they are a team that does things very well. They were a challenge for us as a team.”
On Ohio State Head Coach John Bluem
“John Bluem did a great job getting his team ready and I really think they are an NCAA caliber team. He has got his team firing at the ball and I commend our team for matching their strength.”
On his players
“I want to thank my players. We had a good team last year, but this year, we have the heart. Everybody contributes on the team. It’s great to have depth and people who are on the same page.”
Brian Ackley, Indiana sophomore midfielder
On the team accomplishments for the season
“We set out to accomplish four goals and getting the Big Ten title was the third one of the year. Hearing the older guys who have won a national championship talk about it makes me think it would be great to get that fourth goal for the season.”
On the team strategy
“We try to keep going forward and keep pushing, but Ohio State has some big boys on their team. You have to realize that as we push, they will push too.”
Chay Cain, Indiana sophomore goalkeeper
On the win
“The big difference is we truly are a team. Each player fits a role and whatever Coach (Freitag) tells us to do, we’ll do. Now we have to get ready for the NCAA tournament, because there will be big blow-out teams there.”
On Indiana’s defense
“Our defense did a great job on the corner kicks. They helped me get the balls out, so I didn’t have to do much. It’s a little tough with our back three, just because we have to get used to each other. As long as we stay vocal and communicate, we work fine together.”
On OSU junior forward Xavier Balc
“You have to commend Balc. He has a laser left foot. You have to make sure you stay on position, because he’ll catch you off guard. Any player who can boot from 40 yards out is a threat.”
### GO BUCKS! ###