Buckeyes Battle to 1-1 Draw at No. 18 Michigan State
Oct. 13, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – On a sunny fall afternoon at DeMartin Stadium, the Ohio State men’s soccer team battled to a 1-1 double-overtime draw at No. 18 Michigan State Sunday in East Lansing, Mich. Down 1-0 with under six minutes remaining in regulation, the Buckeyes (2-6-4, 0-2-1) found the back of the net to force overtime en route to the conference draw vs. the Spartans (7-1-2, 1-0-1).
“Our coaching staff was extremely pleased from the effort today from everybody,” head coach John Bluem said. “We asked them to battle through all 90 minutes and see if we could make something happen. We feel like we are a win away from changing our season around if can we just get one victory against a program like Michigan State.”
Junior Ryan Ivancic scored the OSU goal from the far side post after finishing a low cross by classmate Kofi Agyapong. The native of Accra, Ghana, Agyapong, juked his defender on the near side and struck a pass from left to back post where Ivancic sent it into the back of the net at 84:12. The goal was Ivancic’s second of 2013, while Agyapong earned his first career point with the Buckeyes.
“I thought we deserved more than just one goal today,” Bluem said. “We have five games left and four of them will be at home and that is something to look forward to. The guys are all giving 110 percent for us. We’ve tied two nationally-ranked opponents in the past two weeks and we are getting closer to breaking out a win.”
The match consisted of back-and-fourth action on each end of the field in the Spartans’ home conference opener in front of a crowd of 2,032 fans. The Ohio State defense held strong as junior keeper Alex Ivanov notched eight saves vs. the Green and White, including a huge one-handed stop in the first overtime session. The native of Strongsville, Ohio, Ivanov, denied Michigan State’s Sean Conerty at 99:45 when he made a quick reaction with his right hand on a strike in front of goal. He is now 2-5-3 in 2013.
The Spartans scored their goal on their fourth corner kick of the afternoon midway through the second half. Ryan Thelen sent a corner kick just outside the keeper box where Adam Montague headed the ball into net to give Michigan State the 1-0 lead at 64:01.
Junior Yianni Sarris had a shot on goal in the first overtime, while Agyapong also had a shot vs. Michigan State in the first 10 minutes of extra play. In the second session of extra time, freshman Danny Jensen had the team’s lone shot when he struck a ball high over the bar in the penalty area. Sarris had two shots on goal, while Jensen collected four shots overall.
In the first half, Ohio State had a chance in the first five minutes to take an early lead on a counterattack. Ivanov cleared a MSU cross out to classmate Konrad Kucharski who transitioned through the midfield and found sophomore Christian Soldat running near side to the MSU box. He beat his defender and blasted a shot right outside the penalty area, which was deflected off the far post at 4:34.
Jensen ran down a chance six yards out in front of net and got a foot on it, but his shot went high over the bar at 12:07. The Buckeyes earned the first corner of the contest at 15:38 and a header by junior Zach Dobey was saved by MSU keeper Zach Bennett.
The Spartans went on the attack at the end of the first half, but the OSU defense held strong. Ivanov made a key save on a shot in front of goal seven yards out to keep it a 0-0 score heading into halftime. The Buckeyes had a 4-2 lead in shots on goal in the first half, while both teams collected a corner kick. Overall, the Scarlet and Gray boasted 20 shots vs. the Spartans.
Ohio State will begin a four-game homestand next weekend in Columbus. The Buckeyes will host Northwestern at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.