April 17, 2006
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team hosts the Columbus Crew at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in the Fifth Annual Connor Senn Memorial Match. All proceeds from the match will benefit the Connor Senn Memorial Scholarship Fund. Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and $3 for children and can be purchased online at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS. A silent auction will be held in the stadium during the game.
Ohio State’s student radio station, The Underground, will call the game live on its Web site, www.underground.fm.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Columbus Crew in helping us stage this match in Connor’s memory,” John Bluem, Ohio State head men’s soccer coach, said. “The match continues to be a great revenue stream for the Connor Senn Memorial Scholarship Fund that has been established here at Ohio State, and it is always a pleasure and a great opportunity for our players to measure themselves against the Columbus Crew, one of the finest professional soccer teams in America.”
“The Connor Senn Memorial Match is an event that we are very proud to be associated with,” said Crew General Manager Mark McCullers. “It is important to support Ohio State and their efforts in honoring Connor Senn and being able to help OSU raise money for a great cause.” The Crew owns an 0-2-1 record in the young 2006 MLS season and is coming off its home opener last Saturday, a 1-1 tie with Chicago. Ohio State was 11-8-2 last year and made its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament in the last six years. 17 letterwinners from that team return this spring.
The match last year was halted at halftime because of lightning, but not before an event-record $11,750 was raised. The Crew won the three previous matches, 5-1 in 2004, 3-1 in 2003 and 3-0 in 2002.
Connor Senn, a freshman defender on Ohio State’s 2001 team, collapsed during the Buckeye’s match at Akron Sept. 26, 2001 and died that night from a congenital heart defect. Connor, a walk-on from Granville, Ohio, had earned a starting position midway through the 2001 season. He saw action in eight of 10 matches, starting five. After winning the Big Ten in 2000, Ohio State finished the 2001 season 10-7-2 and received its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Connor Senn Memorial Match raised nearly $12,000 last year for the scholarship fund, which was started by Dr. Lance Senn, Connor’s father and a former member of the Ohio State tennis team. The Fund gives two $500 scholarships to one male and one female senior high school level soccer player. The scholarship winners will be announced on the field during halftime of the match.
The scholarship fund will be officially named when it reaches $100,000 and will become fully endowed once it reaches $300,000. Those wishing to make a contribution to the Connor Senn Memorial Scholarship Fund can do so by sending a check to Kristyn Carman, The Ohio State University, Gift Processing, The Fawcett Center, Room 709, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210 (account #410775). Please include your name and return address so you may receive documentation of your charitable contribution from Ohio State for your tax records.
VERIS, BURSE PICKED IN THIRD ROUND OF MLS DRAFT
Ohio State 2005 seniors Kyle Veris and Ray Burse Jr. were selected in the third round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft Jan. 20. Veris was the 25th pick overall and the first selection of the third round by the defending MLS Cup champion L.A. Galaxy, while Burse was picked five players later by F.C. Dallas. Burse was the first goalkeeper taken in the draft and Veris was the eighth defender. They are the fifth and sixth Buckeyes to become MLS draft picks and the highest Ohio State players ever taken, topping Justin Cook’s selection at No. 51 in 2005.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 2005 SEASON
Ohio State won 11 games in 2005 and earned its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament in the last six seasons. The Buckeyes were 11-8-2 overall and finished second in the Big Ten regular season race with a 3-2-1 league record after being picked fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll.
The 2005 OSU senior class of Ray Burse Jr., Kevin Nugent, Reid Traeger and Kyle Veris helped the Buckeyes to 38 wins over the last four years. That quartet is tied for fourth among Ohio State’s all-time winningest classes in the 53 years of the varsity program.
Since head coach John Bluem arrived in 1997, the Buckeyes have posted double-digit wins in seven of his nine seasons and made all four of the program’s postseason appearances. With eight starters back from its 2004 squad that went 12-7-2, tied Indiana for the Big Ten regular season title and advanced to the `Sweet 16′ of the NCAA tournament, the 2005 Buckeyes would have accepted nothing less than a trip back to the postseason.
After a 5-1 start that saw OSU climb to as high as No. 11 in the national polls, the Buckeyes had a 1-4-1 skid that put its postseason goal in jeopardy. However, the Buckeyes went 4-1-1 to end the regular season, advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament and received an at-large bid to the 48-team NCAA tournament field.
Despite being sent 2,400 miles from home and having to pack for a potential five-day stay in California, the Buckeyes were excited for a first-round NCAA tournament match at Santa Clara, which was making its 16th NCAA appearance and had several starters back from its team that advanced to the College Cup in 2003. However, the host Broncos escaped with a 1-0 win over Ohio State to end the Buckeyes’ season.
A LOOK AHEAD TO 2006
The future remains bright for Ohio State in 2006. Eight starters will return as the Buckeyes set out to earn their third-consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The Buckeyes are currently competing in their spring schedule and will travel to Germany in June for several games and to watch three World Cup matches.
“What we’re trying to achieve here is consistency,” Bluem said after the season. “We want to be in the NCAA tournament every year. Four of the last six is a good start. Next year, three in a row would be the first time Ohio State has done that. It’s a lofty goal and it’s not going to be easy. Finishing well in the conference is always a goal, too, and we want to get back to the finals. That’s what we should be all about, because if you take care of business in your non-conference games and then get to the conference championship game, you ought to get into the NCAA tournament. Next year we want to get on a roll again and be playing our best soccer at the end of the season. That will be important.”
### GO BUCKS! ###