Oct. 31, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team won on the road for the second time this weekend as the Buckeyes (9-5-2, 4-1-0 Big Ten) shut out Valparaiso, 2-0, in Valparaiso, Ind., Sunday. After topping No. 25 Northwestern, 2-1, in overtime Friday in Evanston, Ill., Ohio State used the strength of its bench Sunday to score two second half goals and improve to 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
The Buckeyes, ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region and which clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big Ten tournament with the win at Northwestern, wrap up the regular season Saturday at Michigan. Valparaiso falls to 4-9-3.
“We were a little banged up from the last couple weeks and from Friday at Northwestern,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “We have confidence in all 21 players and we knew that we could go to our bench and count on the guys who were rested to step up and help us with this game, and they did just that and gave a great effort. It was not an easy game – Valparaiso is a tough opponent and was hungry for a win.”
Ohio State out-shot Valparaiso 8-2 in the first half but Valpo goalkeeper Jeff Oleck came up with three saves to keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard and keep the game scoreless at halftime.
In the 63rd minute, junior Kevin Nugent (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) put Ohio State up, 1-0, as he collected the ball after it had hit the crossbar off a shot from sophomore Taylor Korpieski (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington). Sophomore Dustin Kirby (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) also assisted on the play for his first assist of the season, while the assist for Korpieski was his team-leading sixth of the season. Then in the 73rd minute, OSU freshman Ryan Kustos (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) scored a goal from 15 yards out into the far post that was his second goal in as many games and his fourth goal of the season. Senior Eric Schwebach (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) started the scoring play with a long pass to junior Kyle Veris (Strongsville, Ohio/Univ. of Akron). The assists were their second and third, respectively, of the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Casey Latchem (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) played all 90 minutes in goal for the Buckeyes, seeing his first action since Ohio State’s win over Bowling Green Sept. 24. He had five saves in the match, which tied his career high, and in the process notched his second shutout of the season.
“Casey had two very good saves when the score was 0-0,” Bluem said. “And he stuffed a break-away when we were up 1-0 that could have been the equalizer. He turned in a nice performance after not playing for so long. We started a lot of guys who had been coming off the bench for us and they delivered.”
Ohio State will return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday at Michigan. The Big Ten tournament will be hosted by Michigan Nov. 11-14.
### GO BUCKS! ###