Sept. 20, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's soccer team will take on No. 15 Indiana at 1 p.m. Sunday in a BTN-televised match at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes enter the contest at 3-4-1 on the season, while the Hoosiers sit at 5-1-1 overall.
IN A NUTSHELL
- Four Buckeyes – Louie Berra, Sebastian Rivas, Kenny Cunningham and Alex Bujenovic – lead the team with two goals apiece, while Berra has an additional assist to his credit for a team-best five points. Austin McAnena, Yianni Sarris and Adam Gorski all have a team-high tying two assists.
- Five players have started all seven games – seniors Rivas, Chris Gomez and Chris Hegngi, junior Sage Gardner and freshman Zach Mason.
- With Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan on the live call, the Indiana game Sunday will be the first of four guaranteed appearances by the Buckeyes on BTN this season.
- The Buckeyes and Hoosiers also can be followed via Gametracker through OhioStateBuckeyes.com, linked from the front page, as well as the men's soccer schedule page, and twitter updates can be received from @OhioState_MSOC.
KIDS KICKING CANCER
- Selected players and coaches from Ohio State and Indiana will work together Sunday morning in the Buckeyes' third annual Kids Kicking Cancer Clinic 9:30-11 a.m. on the indoor turf field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
- The skills clinic is hosted by Kids Kicking Cancer, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and the respective men's soccer teams.
- Photos from the event last year, when the Buckeyes partnered with Michigan, can be seen here. For more information on the program, visit www.RainbowBabies.org/KKC.
- The first 100 kids in eighth grader or below wearing their soccer jersey will get a coupon for a free Coke with the purchase of any food item.
- All kids are welcome to participate in the postgame autograph session along the field-level fence.
- The Buckeyes are 17-4-0 in Big Ten season openers all-time. They previously have played Northwestern in 12 of these contests, Wisconsin in four, Michigan and Michigan State in two and Indiana just once.
- With a 3-2 overtime win vs. the Wolverines in Columbus Sept. 25, 2011, head coach John Bluem is 13-2 in his first game on the conference schedule.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
- Indiana is ranked No. 15 in the NSCAA poll this week, up one spot from last week after a 2-0 win over SIUE in their last match Sept. 14.
- Jacob Bushue was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, while defender Caleb Konstanski was named the co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Monday after the SIUE victory.
- Indiana has scored just two of its 13 goals in the first half of play this season, leaving the other 11 for the second stanza while not allowing a single score in the same frame.
- Eriq Zavaleta leads the Hoosiers and the Big Ten with six goals, early half of the team’s total 13. Just one other player – Caleb Konstanski – has multiple goals (2) to his credit.
- Luis Sofner has played every minute of the team’s seven games, holding a 0.55 goals-against average and a .867 save percentage. He leads the Big Ten with four shutouts.
- The Buckeyes trail in the series 6-46-3 overall and 4-36-3 since Indiana became a varsity program in 1973.
- Three of Ohio State’s wins have come since 2008, including two during the 2009 season, both of which came on Indiana’s home field.
- Indiana won last year's meeting, 1-0 in Bloomington, extending the streak to four of the last five meetings between the teams resulting in a 1-0 final.
LAST TIME OUT
- The Buckeyes dropped a 4-0 decision to Louisville Tuesday night at Cardinal Park in front of 1,235 fans.
- The Cardinals produced goals from four different players and led 2-0 at the half before putting a pair away in a 35-second span early in the second period.
- Ohio State created a handful of opportunities in the contest, but were unable to score for the third time this season.
- Following the contest with the Hoosiers, the Buckeyes remain at home for a mid-week tilt against Butler at 7 p.m. Wednesday at JOMS.
- The Bulldogs are 1-1-4 on the year and coming off their first win of the season vs. Evansville, 3-0, Wednesday night. They are off until the contest in Columbus next week.
- The Buckeyes are 79-28-15 record in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1999, including at least six wins in each of the last five seasons.
- They are 2-1-1 at JOMS last season with seven home games remaining on the schedule.
- Four freshman have made appearances in the starting lineup this season, including Crew Academy product Zach Mason who has made all eight.
- Two of the four leading scorers – Louie Berra (2g, 1a) and Alex Bujenovic (2g) – are in their rookie seasons.
- For the ninth-consecutive season, at least one true freshman made his first collegiate start for the Buckeyes in the team's season opener and for the fourth year in a row it was at least two (Mason and Berra).
- Chris Hegngi, a senior forward, was named to the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced by the NSCAA Aug. 13, becoming just the third Buckeye to be considered for the national player of the year award in the program history (Eric Brunner, 2007 and Matt Lampson, 2011).
- Hegngi, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year last season, is one of just two players from the conference to begin the season on the Watch List and one of 42 overall.
- The Hermann Trophy is the highest individual award in collegiate soccer with the recipient being selected by head coaches of NCAA Division I programs who are members of the NSCAA.
BIG GAMES, SMALL SCREEN
- Four of Ohio State’s regular-season games are scheduled for live BTN broadcast, with several additional opportunities available through Student U productions.
- Sunday vs. Indiana is the first live showing for the Buckeyes. They also will have their home match against national power Akron televised at 8 p.m. Oct. 23, sandwiching a pair of road contests at Michigan (Sept. 30, 6 p.m.) and Northwestern (Oct. 14, 1 p.m.).
- This will bring the program’s number of appearances on BTN to 21 since its inception in 2007.
- All men’s soccer alumni are invited back for the weekend of Oct. 5-7 to partake in a golf outing, the Nebraska football game and the Buckeyes’ home game vs. Michigan State. For more information, visit the Alumni and Friends page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com -- go.osu.edu/MSOCalumni
- Junior Sage Gardner and seniors Chris Gomez and Austin McAnena were selected as captains for the 2012 campaign.
- The trio have combined for 159 career starts in 172 games played with Gardner (47) starting every game of his career.
QUITE A CREW
- The 2012 roster boasts five players to come through the Columbus Crew Academy system, including junior Sage Gardner who has helped a Crew Juniors team to a national title in each of the last two summers and senior Chris Gomez who joined Gardner for the 2011 title.
- Sophomore Alex Bechtol, who transferred to Ohio State from Bowling Green, and freshmen Zach Mason and Raymond Olivarria each have spent time with the Crew.
- John Bluem is in his 16th season as head coach of the Buckeyes in 2012. He has collected a 163-112-41 record during that span and holds all eight of the program's NCAA Tournament appearances and all five combined Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles to his credit.
- With six years at Fresno State also on his résumé, Bluem has a 249-139-53 career record, a win total which is No. 24 among active NCAA coaches and a percentage which stands at No. 30.
- In its second season, Connor's Crew is the official student support section of Ohio State soccer. The branch of "Block O" is named for former Buckeye Connor Senn, who passed away Sept. 26, 2001 from a heart abnormality after collapsing during an OSU match.
- For more information on the group, visit its Facebook page.
BIG TEN FORECAST
- Northwestern, who won the Big Ten regular-season and tourney titles last season, and Indiana enter the season tied as the conference favorite in the preseason coaches’ poll.
- Michigan State checks in at No. 3 in the poll, jumping up two spots from last year’s fifth-place campaign, while Buckeyes come in at No. 4 after earning a 4-2-0 record and finishing second in Big Ten action last year. Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan round out the poll.
- In addition, Sage Gardner, Chris Hegngi and Austin McAnena each were named a player to watch in the Big Ten.
VIDEO: Buckeyes Preview Bowling Green