Buckeyes score four second-half goals in 12 minute span; Latchem has four saves for 13th shutout

COLUMBUS, Ohio Scoring four goals in a 12-minute span during the second half, Ohio State shut out Bradley, 4-0, Sunday in rain-soaked Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to advance to its first NCAA College Cup next weekend in Cary, N.C. Continuing to build on their best season in program history, the Buckeyes are now 16-3-5 and will face Massachusetts at 7 p.m. Friday at SAS Soccer Park.

Ohio State, Big Ten champion and the No. 5 seed in the tournament, is now unbeaten in its last 14 games (11-0-3) to double the previous school record for the longest unbeaten streak, while also improving two other school records one for wins (16) and the other for shutouts (14).

Bradley, which overcame the tragic death of redshirt freshman Danny Dahlquist a day before preseason practice started, ends its season16-6-4, setting a program record for wins. Both teams were playing in their first NCAA Elite Eight’ appearance.

The four-goal win is the most lopsided NCAA tournament victory for the Buckeyes in nine games all-time and the 4-0 win marks the largest margin of victory in any home game since 2001. Ohio State wraps up its home schedule this season with a program-record 8-1-1 mark at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Ohio State senior goalkeeper Casey Latchem had four saves in his 14th shutout of the season and 26th of his career to build on both of his school records.

After a scoreless first half in which Ohio State outshot Bradley 8-4, it appeared as if one goal might be enough to win the game in the steady rain. The Buckeyes got that goal at the 57:20 mark when senior Xavier Balc converted a penalty kick after junior Geoff Marsh was dragged down in the penalty area while making a one-on-one run.

That penalty kick would prove to be Balc’s fifth game-winning goal of the season and 11th of his career.

But Bradley had overcome one-goal and two-goal deficits their last two games in wins at Indiana and Maryland, so the Buckeyes kept applying pressure. That resulted in a goal at the 62:47 mark by Marsh, another goal by Balc at the 64:11 mark and a goal by sophomore Andrew Magill at the 69:04 mark.

Up 1-0, OSU junior midfielder Danny Irizarry slotted the ball to Marsh, who settled it 15 yards out and blasted it into the far corner of the net to put the Buckeyes up, 2-0. Less than two minutes later, junior Patrick Roan drove down the right flank and crossed the ball into the penalty area, where Balc was waiting and headed it in to give Ohio State a three-goal cushion. The final goal came when Bradley turned the ball over in front of its own net and Magill slammed it home.

The Buckeyes outshot the Braves 18-10 for the match and had eight shots on goal compared to four for Bradley.

Postgame Notes: Ohio State 4, Bradley 0 NCAA Championship Quarterfinals
– During the last 14 games, Ohio State is 11-0-3 and has allowed only six goals, with three of those coming last Sunday in the 4-3 win over UC Santa Barbara in the third-round of the NCAA tournament.
– The Buckeyes are now 5-4 all-time in the NCAA tournament. This season marks their fifth appearance in the NCAA tournament and the first time they have advanced past the Sweet 16’ in the 55 year history of the program.
– Ohio State will make its first appearance in the College Cup next weekend against another first-time participant in Massachusetts. The Buckeyes and Minutemen have never met on the soccer field.
– The Buckeyes’ four-goal win Sunday over Bradley is their most lopsided home win ever in the NCAA tournament and most lopsided home win since a 4-0 win in 2001 over Bowling Green.
– Ohio State ends its home schedule with an 8-1-1 record in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season to set the program record for home winning percentage (.850) and longest home winning streak (seven games). The eight home wins this season ties the program record set last season (8-3-1).
– Ohio State is now 53-20-11 all-time in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1999. That record includes a 4-1 record in NCAA tournament games.
– The Buckeyes are now 8-7-1 all-time against ranked opponents in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Bradley was ranked No. 21 when the NCAA tournament began.
– Already the all-time winningest class in Ohio State men’s soccer history, the seven-member Ohio State senior class is now 50-25-12.
– Ohio State had never played a soccer game in the month of December before this season. The Buckeyes are now 2-0-0 all-time in December.
– Ohio State is now 5-0-0 all-time against Bradley.
– OSU senior Xavier Balc notched his fifth game-winning goal of the season Sunday and the 11th of his career. His two goals scored Sunday marked his first two goals in the NCAA tournament in his career.
– During the last three seasons, the Buckeyes are now 31-3-2 when Balc has at least one point. Balc is responsible for 51 of Ohio State’s last 90 goals during the last three seasons.
– With two goals Sunday, Balc notched his first multiple-goal game of the season. With 23 career goals and 34 career assists, Balc’s 80 points are third-most all-time at Ohio State. He is the program’s all-time leader in assists and shots 257.
– Senior Casey Latchem is Ohio State’s all-time leader in career shutouts (26) and goals against average (0.87).
– Sophomore Andrew Magill scored his third goal in the NCAA tournament this season Sunday.
– Junior Danny Irizarry notched his second assist in the NCAA tournament this season Sunday.


Postgame Quotes

John Bluem, Ohio State head coach
On Bradley’s season
“I want to congratulate Bradley on an outstanding season. In 2001, we lost a player (Conner Senn) tragically on the field. I know first hand how it is to lose a player like that. (Bradley head coach)Jim DeRose and Bradley did a great job to keep driving forward. He has my vote for Coach of the Year, due to the circumstances.”

On Geoff Marsh’s first goal of the year
“He had two goals in the preseason and nothing since. Geoff is a good player for us and I’m glad to see he got one. It was a well placed shot. He saw the opening and went around people to get the goal. It was seven minutes into the second half and there was a lot of time left to defend. We knew Bradley had come back in their last two games. I thought this goal was the one to push us over and give us energy.”

On coaching at Ohio State
“It is fantastic and an honor to coach at The Ohio State University. It is a great university and a great athletics department. I can’t believe the job our grounds crew did to the field. The best thing in being a college coach is to see the kids have these experiences. It is about them. Twenty years from now they probably won’t remember the coach but will remember the experience.”

Xavier Balc, Ohio State senior forward
On Ohio State’s first goal
“Capitalizing on the penalty kick off of Geoff Marsh’s great run opened the gates for us and things started clicking.”

Eric Brunner, Ohio State senior defender
On advancing to the semifinals
“It is an honor to represent the university in the semifinals at the NCAA championship. To walk out as one of the Top 4 teams in the nation with your school’s named painted on the field is incredible.”

On Ohio State’s second half play
“We started to understand what Bradley wanted to do so we came out with a lot of confidence.”

On Ohio State’s senior class
“We went out with a bang. I hoped we would win but I didn’t think we’d put up four goals. The four goals really put an explanation mark for this senior class.”

Casey Latchem, Ohio State senior goalkeeper
On Ohio State
“Our guys played so hard all the way to the end. These guys have been there for me all year keeping my confidence up and that’s the way our team works. My defense kept my chances at a minimum which makes my job easy.”

On advancing to the semifinals
“As a high school athlete, I watched the NCAA championship every year and I always wanted to be there. Now with the chance to go and to do it with this group of guys I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

On Ohio State’s senior class
“It’s bittersweet because we won’t be back here next year. It’s been a great four years for us.”

On Bradley’s fans
“The Bradley fans were incredible, staying behind them even after they got down.”

Doug Verhoff, Ohio State sophomore defender
On Bradley
“We know they came back to win against Indiana and Maryland. One goal wasn’t enough and two goals weren’t enough. We couldn’t quit and knew we couldn’t give up.”

On competing in the tournament
“We were pumped after the Big Ten tournament. The coaches would instill the next game was the one to look at. There was a lot of talk of going to the Final Four and making arrangements. We just had to take one game at a time and that helped so much.”

Jim DeRose, Bradley head coach
On the game
“Today was tough. Trying to put the loss into perspective is hard. I’ll be a part of more wins and losses in my career but I’ll never be a part of something as special as this season was for our team.”

On Xavier Balc’s penalty kick
“The penalty was the turning point without question. To Ohio State’s credit, they did what they needed to do.”

On Ohio State’s defense
“Generally, good defensive teams have good forwards and with Ohio State, their guys up top can hold the ball. They do a great job collectively holding the defense.”

On Ohio State
“That Ohio State team is arguably the best team we have played this season. These kids are fantastic ambassadors for the sport of soccer as they came up and congratulated us on our season. The fan support here today in Columbus will hopefully continue through to future seasons.”

Teddy Anderson, Bradley senior forward
On the game
“I agree with coach on the game because the changing point was the penalty kick.”

On the season
“A lot of character has been shown. I am proud to be associated with this soccer team and the university.”

Drew DeGurian, Bradley senior midfielder
On the game
“We battled hard throughout the game and credit is due to Ohio State because they made the most of their chances. Hearing the roar of the Bradley crowd and their support with our cheers sent chills up our spines.”

                          Soccer Game Summary (Final)
                          2007 Ohio State Men’s Soccer
         #21 Bradley vs #14 Ohio State (Dec 09, 2007 at Columbus, Ohio)

 Bradley (16-6-4) vs. Ohio State (16-3-5)
 Date: Dec 09, 2007  Attendance: 1705
 Weather: Raining and 46 degrees

 Goals by period       1  2  Tot
 Bradley………….  0  0 –  0
 Ohio State……….  0  4 –  4
  1.  57:20 OSU Balc, Xavier (7) Penalty kick
  2.  62:47 OSU Marsh, Geoff (1) (Irizarry, Danny) – fifteen yards out, left to right corner
  3.  64:11 OSU Balc, Xavier (8) (Roan, Patrick) – Service from right sideline, header from seven yards
  4.  69:04 OSU Magill, Andrew (5) (unassisted) – Turnover in the box

 Shots: Bradley 10, Ohio State 18
 Saves: Bradley 4 (Haynes, Mike 3; TEAM 1), Ohio State 4 (Latchem,  Casey 4)
 NCAA Championship Quarterfinals
 Winner advances to College Cup next weekend in Cary, N.C.

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Contact: Tim Stried,