Oct. 29, 2011

Date: Sunday, Oct. 30 – 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT)
Where: McClimon Complex – Madison, Wis.
Follow: Facebook | Twitter |Gametracker

The Ohio State men’s soccer team continues its regular-season ending road swing against Wisconsin at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. CT) Sunday at the McClimon Complex in Madison, Wis. Unbeaten in five of their last six games, the Buckeyes are 9-5-2 overall and tied for second in the Big Ten with the Badgers (8-6-2) at 3-1-0. They closed out the non-conference slate Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Oakland and have one regular-season contest remaining next Saturday vs. Indiana in Bloomington.

Tickets for the Ohio State at Wisconsin game can be purchased at the gate of the McClimon Memorial Track & Soccer Complex beginning one hour to the start of the contest for $5 for adults and $2 for youth.

The Wisconsin game can be followed via Gametracker, linked from the front page and men’s soccer schedule page of, or through Twitter with updates by @OhioState_MSOC.

At 9-5-2, Ohio State is unbeaten in five of its last six games (4-1-1) and has shut out three of its last five opponents. With a Big Ten-leading eight goals, junior midfielder Chris Hegngi has paced the Ohio State attack this season, which is ranked third in the Big Ten in total team scoring (4.31 ppg) and second in goals (1.56 gpg) this season. Sebastian Rivas (4g, 1a), Austin McAnena (3g, 2a), Parnell Hegngi (2g, 3a), and Omar Vallejo (4a) also have produced offensively for the Buckeyes.
     The Ohio State defense, headlined by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year David Tiemstra, has allowed an average of 1.19 goals per game. First Team All-Big Ten goalkeeper Matt Lampson has made all 16 starts and has 1.16 goals-against average with four shutouts.
     Six Buckeye players have started all 15 games this season with the remaining five spots divided among nine players. As many as three starting spots have gone to rookies this season and a total of 12 players have tallied at least one point with 18 assists on 18 of the team’s 23 goals.

With two weekends remaining, the race for the regular-season title is on. Northwestern’s win over Wisconsin a week ago gave it possession of first place in the Big Ten standings. The Wildcats lead the league with 10 points, while Wisconsin and Ohio State are tied for second with a 3-1-0 league record and nine points. Indiana is fourth with seven points, Michigan State is fifth with five points, Michigan is sixth (3 points) and Penn State seventh in the league with a winless Big Ten record.

The Buckeyes concluded their non-conference slate with a 2-1 victory over Oakland Wednesday evening in Rochester, Mich. Michigan native Adam Gorski beat Oakland goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt on a volley from 22 yards out in the 63rd minute to give the Buckeyes the lead for good. It was the first career goal for the freshman from Troy, Mich., just 10 minutes away from Rochester. Ohio State jumped out to the early lead in the 16th minute when freshman Kenny Cunningham tallied his second goal of the season, a strike from just inside the box off an assist from Sage Gardner.

Wisconsin (8-6-2, 3-1-0 Big Ten) has dropped two of its last three games after going unbeaten through seven of the previous eight. The Badgers are led by Tomislav Zadro with five goals and seven assists, totals which rank him second among Big Ten players in total scoring. Three players trail Zadro with nine points, while seven others have added additional points. Ciro Martinez and Max Jentsch have split time between the pipes with Jentsch putting in the bulk of the time with 11 starts and a 6-3-2 record, tallying 0.87 goals-against average and a .778 save percentage.

The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 14-11-2, including wins in six of the last eight meetings, and are 6-5-2 in games played in Madison. The Badgers’ last win over Ohio State was a 2-0 decision October 25, 2009, at Wisconsin, which spurred a four-game Buckeye winning streak through the Big Ten tournament championship. In the last meeting between the two teams, they battled to a scoreless draw in double overtime in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in University Park, Pa., before the Badgers advanced on penalty kicks.

Matt Lampson earned his seventh career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor Monday after helping the Buckeyes to their third shutout in the last four games. Lampson recorded six saves, including five in the first half, in the 1-0 victory over Penn State last Sunday. The Hilliard, Ohio, native moved into sole possession of third place in career shutouts all-time at Ohio State with 23 and is one away from taking over second place. This was the first Big Ten defensive accolade for Ohio State this season after earning Parnell and Chris Hegngi each earned offensive player of the week recognitions. Lampson was the last Buckeye defensive POW on Nov. 1, 2010.

The Buckeyes have scored 25 goals through 16 games, more than they scored through either of the last two entire seasons. They average 1.56 goals per game and have had 10 players find the back of the net this season, including five with multiple scores. As a team, Ohio State has tallied three or more goals on four occasions, including a combined seven goals over the two games in the Wolstein Classic. The team previously had not scored at least three goals in a game since the 2009 season and the last time they scored more than four combined goals in back-to-back games was during the 2007 NCAA Tournament and wins over UC Santa Barbara (4-1) and Bradley (4-0) on Dec. 2 and 9, respectively. The last time a Buckeye squad accomplished the feat of scoring three-plus goals in four games also was in 2007 (five games).

The Buckeyes travel to Madison as the Wisconsin football team takes on Ohio State in Columbus Saturday night. This is the second of three weekends the soccer team will play an away game at the site of the OSU football team’s home opponent. The Buckeyes previously defeated Michigan State, 2-1, the same weekend the Spartans handed football a loss, while next weekend, the soccer and football teams will share Indiana as the common foe.

The Buckeyes close out the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 at Indiana with the game being show on tape delay at noon Sunday, Nov. 6 on BTN with Dean Linke and Chris Doran calling the action. The Hoosiers are 10-3-3 on the season and 4-2-1 in the Big Ten, good for fourth in the conference, with a contest vs. league-leading Northwestern scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 30.