Aug. 25, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its season opener Friday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, the Buckeye men’s soccer team played to a 0-0 tie in double-overtime with Hartwick as the first day of The Bert and Iris Wolstein Soccer Classic Hosted by The Ohio State University commenced. The Buckeyes outshot the Hawks 26-6, but all nine of OSU’s shots on goal were saved.
In the opener Friday, No. 13 Penn State fell to Furman, 2-0. Ohio State and Furman will meet Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Classic finale.
Ohio State held a 14-2 shot advantage in the first half and a 9-1 lead in the second against Hartwick, a 23-time NCAA tournament qualifier and the alma mater of OSU head coach John Bluem, who is in the Hartwick Hall of Fame. The Hawks finally matched the Buckeyes’ offensive tempo in the two 10-minute overtime sessions, when shots were equal at 3-3.
OSU junior goalkeeper Casey Latchem (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) had two big saves, both in the first overtime, to notch his first shout of the season.
“We’re disappointed, but we’re doing lots of things right and were very creative tonight,” Bluem said. “Casey (Latchem) kept us in the game when called upon and our defense was very good and limited Hartwick’s opportunities. We just hit the ball right at their goalkeeper tonight. We need to come back Sunday and play well against a strong, confident Furman team.”
Senior Taylor Korpieski (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and junior Xavier Balc (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) both had four shots to pace the OSU attack, while juniors Eric Edwards (Loveland, Ohio/Milford) and Ryan Kustos (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had three each.
The one shot of the night by sophomore Tim Gabel (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) was perhaps the closest to finding the back of the net when his header off a Korpieski free kick hit Hartwick goalkeeper Joe Gibson and deflected away with 6:11 left in regulation. With 1:11 remaining, Balc drove into the 18-yard box off a feed from senior Brent Rohrer (Springfield, Ohio/Catholic) but his look was negated at the last second before a near-scoring strike.
The defense Bluem mentioned, including seniors Jim Fisher (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and Dustin Kirby (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), junior Eric Brunner (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto/Maryland) and Gabel, turned away the Hawks repeatedly in the 110-minute affair.
The Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic concludes Sunday when Penn State and Hartwick meet at noon, followed by the Ohio State-Furman match at 2:30 p.m.
### GO BUCKS! ###