COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team heads West for a pair of games in San Diego this weekend. The Buckeyes take on San Diego at 7 p.m. PT (10 ET) Friday at USD’s Torero Stadium before heading across town for a 1 p.m. CT (4 ET) Sunday tilt at San Diego State and its Sports Deck.
IN A NUTSHELL
- The Buckeyes are 1-2-1 on the young season and coming off their first victory of the year – a 3-2 overtime win against Davidson in the final game of the Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic last Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Ohio State captured the tourney title for the second year in a row with Alex Bujenovic earning MVP honors.
- Alex Bujenovic and Sebastian Rivas lead the Buckeyes with two goals apiece, while Kenny Cunningham and Alec Lowell each have single tallies. Yianni Sarris currently has a team-high two assists to his credit.
- Alex Ivanov and Alex Wimmer have split time in goal this season, with the former starting each of the last two games with a 1.31 goals-against average and 16 saves (.842 save percentage).
- Nine starters and 13 total letterwinners return from a year ago, including the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Chris Hegngi who scored 33 percent of the team's goals a year ago. In fact, returning players account for 22 of the 27 goals scored in 2011 and over half of the assists. Ohio State finished 10-7-2 overall and 4-2-0 in the Big Ten, securing its seventh Top 2 conference finish in the last eight years.
- Three members of the 2012 Buckeyes hail from The Golden State, including seniors Austin McAnena and Sebastian Rivas. A native of Laguna Niguel, Calif., McAnena is from about 70 miles north of San Diego, while Rivas (Duarte, Calif.) is from north of Los Angeles, about 130 miles from the contests this weekend.
- Freshman Jake Bartlett, a high school teammate of Rivas at Bishop Amat Memorial, will not travel this weekend but is originally from Sierra Madre, Calif.
- The Buckeyes last trip to California came in 2007 with an appearance at the UCLA Soccer Classic, where they went 1-1. The host Bruins and then-reigning NCAA runner-up knocked them off, 3-1, before Ohio State took it to Cal State Fullerton for a 6-1 victory.
- Head coach John Bluem and associate head coach Frank Speth coached together at Fresno State before coming to Ohio State in 1997. Bluem compiled an 86-27-12 record in six years as leader of the Bulldogs.
SCOUTING THE TOREROS
- San Diego is 0-2 on the season, dropping decisions to No. 13 UC Irvine, 2-0, and Sacramento State, 2-1, in overtime.
- Defender Thomas Fiskerstrand has the team’s lone goal of the season, scoring it off a diving header in the 89th minute to force extra time against Sac State.
- USD returns seven starters from a 2011 squad that finished 9-9-1 overall, including senior Dan Delgado who is the reigning WCC Player of the Year.
- Series history: first meeting
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
- At 0-1-1, San Diego State also enters the weekend looking for its first win after falling to Notre Dame, 3-2, and tying Indiana, 0-0, last weekend at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.
- The Aztecs host Houston Baptist Friday night before welcoming the Buckeyes Sunday.
- Jordan Ongaro and Casey Meuser accounted for the two scores vs. the Fighting Irish, both coming off headers.
- Series history: first meeting
LAST TIME OUT
- Kenny Cunningham scored the game-winning goal in the 97th minute to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 overtime victory vs. Davidson in the final game of the Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Sunday.
- The Buckeyes trailed 2-0 after 61 minutes of action, but battled back with two late scores in regulation from Sebastian Rivas and Alex Bujenovic to force extra time for the second-consecutive game.
- Bujenovic earned MVP honors for the event and was joined by Chris Hegngi, Zach Mason and Alex Ivanov as the OSU representatives on the all-tournament team.
- The Buckeyes will have just one game next week, a Friday night tilt against DePaul at 7:30 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
- Admission to the game, and to all regular-season home matches this season, is free.
- The DePaul game will celebrate youth soccer with all kids being encouraged to wear their jerseys. The first 100 youth (eighth grade and under) in their jerseys will receive a coupon for a FREE soda when they buy any food item.