Aug. 27, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Kenny Cunningham picked an opportune time to score his first collegiate goal. The rookie forward tallied the equalizer late in regulation as the No. 15 Ohio State men's soccer team played American to a 1-1 draw through double overtime at the Penn State Classic in University Park, Pa., Saturday. At 0-0-1, the Buckeyes are now undefeated in their last six season openers.
"We did not have a good first half," John Bluem, 15-year Ohio State head coach said. "I think we were tentative and didn't pressure the ball well at all and American was able to put together a couple good attacking movements, scoring on one. After the interval, we played better and controlled much of the second half and overtime. We are obviously disappointed not to win, but this gives us a really great starting point to improve on and get better."
The level of Ohio State control Bluem alluded to is clear on the box score. The Buckeyes finished the night with a 23-7 shot advantage, including a 17-3 margin after the first period and 6-1 mark in overtime alone. They also posted nine unanswered corners.
In the end, however, it only took one shot on either side to decide the game.
American put itself on the board first in the 32nd minute with a header by Seth Goldman. He received the ball off a cross from Colin Siegfried via an opening assist from Ryan Morales to score on the fourth Eagle shot attempt of the night. Ohio State's Sebastian Rivas tallied the only remaining score attempt of the first period as the teams headed into the intermission at 1-0.
The Buckeyes wasted little time in the second as they began peppering the American defense early. Cunningham alluded to what would come less than two minutes in when his shot was stopped by the Eagle keeper and it took six more attempts by the OSU attack before it was able come up with a score.
David Tiemstra intercepted a pass and found Cunningham with a long ball through the center and the Brecksville, Ohio, native wasted little time in chipping it into the back of the net, tying the game at 1 with 7:40 to play in regulation. Looking for the win, the Buckeyes managed to post three shots during those remaining minutes, including a pair from Omar Vallejo and a dinger off the crossbar by Chris Hegngi, who led all players with five shots.
The overtime periods passed with little event, despite the six shots posted by the Buckeyes, allowing them to come away with the draw. Matt Lampson made one stop in goal for the Buckeyes, while his counterpart Matt Makowski came up with five saves.
The Buckeyes wrap up play at the Penn State Classic at 3 p.m. Monday vs. Siena. They will then open their home campaign with the sixth annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic Sept. 2 and 4 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Penn State and Stetson start off tourney action at 5 p.m. Sept. 2, followed by the Buckeyes vs. FIU at approximately 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions and FIU meet at 11 a.m. before Ohio State and Stetson close it out at 1:30 p.m. Admission to all Wolstein Classic games, and home regular-season games throughout the season, is free.