Nov. 4, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team ended its regular season with a 0-0 draw against Wisconsin Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes will head into the Big Ten tournament as the No. 7 seed after finishing the season 6-9-3 overall and 0-4-2 in the conference, while the Badgers will be seeded sixth with marks of 6-7-4 and 1-3-2.
"The team gave a great effort today,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “I mean our guys really fought hard to try to win the game and I thought we played much better soccer in the overtime. We were experimenting a little bit to see if there were some things we could do differently in preparation for the Big Ten tournament."
The Buckeyes outshot Wisconsin 4-0 in extra time, including a pair of chances from senior forward Chris Hegngi who, along with fellow senior Austin McAnena, paced the attack with four shots apiece on the day. Hegngi launched a shot just over the crossbar at the start of the second overtime and followed it up with a wide left attempt early in the 107th minute.
Regulation was a tale of two halves as the teams struggled to find a method of scoring. The first period was played in the respective attacking thirds with each squad dominating time of possession in increments. Ohio State’s best pressure came in the middle of the stanza as Chris Gomez had a header rocked off the crossbar and another fly just wide right following a McAnena corner kick.
The second period featured more deliberate play with action taking place in the midfield as the two sides worked to set up plays. Results were futile, however, as the Buckeyes placed just one attempt on goal in the half. It was a blast from the top of the 18 by freshman Zach Mason which had to be punched over the crossbar by Wisconsin keeper Chase Rau in the 69th minute of action.
“It was a tough battle, McAnena said after the match. “It was pretty scrappy from the start and it was good for us defensively. I also thought we were creating some good chances; we just needed to get the ball down and possess more.”
The defense limited the Badgers to four shots in the second half and zero between the two overtimes, en route to securing its second shutout of the year.
Ohio State finished with an 18-10 advantage in shots for the day and a 7-5 margin in corner kicks. Both goalkeepers tallied six saves with four coming in the first half.
The Big Ten tournament is set to begin Wednesday in Evanston, Ill., on the campus of Northwestern. The tourney features three quarterfinal matches Wednesday, with the semifinals taking place Friday and the championship contest scheduled for Sunday. For more information, including ticket prices, visit: Big Ten Tournament Central.