Oct. 30, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Chris Hegngi scored his Big Ten-leading ninth goal of the season as the Ohio State men's soccer team took over first place in the Big Ten with a 2-0 shutout win vs. Wisconsin Sunday afternoon at the McClimon Complex in Madison, Wis. Now unbeaten in six of their last seven games, the Buckeyes improve to 10-5-2 overall and 4-1-0 in the Big Ten, while the Badgers drop to 8-7-2 on the season and 3-2-0 in the conference.
"This was simply a great effort from all of our players today," John Bluem, now has reached at least 10 wins in 12 of his 15 seasons as head coach at Ohio State, said. "We had to change the lineup because of injuries, starting four freshmen and only using two subs, but we got great minutes from everyone.
"The defense withstood some very good attacks from Wisconsin in the second half with Chris Gomez coming up with a team save and Zach Dobey playing very well in his first game at center back. Everyone did what needed to be done to hang on for the win."
With the victory and the Indiana-Northwestern draw Sunday, the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten with 12 points and are followed by Northwestern (11) and Wisconsin (9) for the Top 3 spots. Heading into the final weekend, Ohio State is guaranteed a first or second-place finish in the Big Ten regular-season standings, marking the seventh time in the last eight seasons it has been among the Top 2.
Hegngi scored on a first-half penalty kick for what would stand as his third game-winning goal of the year before his older brother Parnell Hegngi added an insurance goal midway through the second half for his third of the season and the Buckeyes' first win by more than a goal since Sept. 16 vs. Hartwick (3-0).
Matt Lampson, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, tallied seven saves between the pipes, as the defense - David Tiemstra, Sage Gardner, Chris Gomez and Zach Dobey - helped the Buckeyes to their fifth shutout of the season. With the clean sheet, Lampson takes over second place all-time at Ohio State with 24 career shutouts and now is three away from tying Casey Latchem's record 27 set during the 2004-07 seasons.
The Buckeyes came out strong at the start of the match, rattling off the first four shots over the opening five-plus minutes of action, but Badger goalkeeper Max Jentsch came up with a pair of stops and play settled for much of the next 20 minutes. It picked back up with an OSU score late in the 27th minute, however, when Parnell Hegngi came streaming through the right side of the penalty area and was dragged down by a Wisconsin defender. The younger Hegngi took the PK and converted on the opportunity, his third on three attempts this season, and buried it in the back of the net for his ninth goal of the year.
The one-goal advantage would stand through the intermission and a Badger onslaught of shots at the start of the second period. Despite the pressure, the Buckeyes were able to score once again midway through the 70th minute. Parnell Hegngi took a free kick from 25 yards out and bent it around the wall and into the upper right 90 for the two-goal lead with 20:28 to play in regulation.
Wisconsin would out-shoot Ohio State 6-3 from this point on, including a header by Josh Thiermann in the 75th minute that made its way by Lampson but was stopped by Gomez before crossing the plane. Lampson added three of his seven stops in the final 20 minutes to preserve the team's fourth shutout in the last six games. The Buckeyes were out-shot 20-13 on the day and trailed in corner kicks 7-4.
Ohio State will play for the Big Ten title when it closes out the regular season at Indiana with a 1 p.m. Saturday match which will be shown on tape delay at noon Sunday on BTN. Ohio State has captured each of its last three meetings with the Hoosiers, including the regular-season finale last season.