Sept. 28, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team will take on Michigan at 6 p.m. Sunday in a BTN-televised match at U-M Soccer Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes enter the contest at 5-5-1 on the season, while the Wolverines sit at 2-5-0 overall. Both teams dropped their conference openers last weekend.
IN A NUTSHELL
- The Buckeyes ended a brief two-game losing skid with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Butler Wednesday night. Austin McAnena led the charge with three goals, his first scores of the season. With the performance, he takes over the team lead in scoring with eight points (3g, 2a).
- Four Buckeyes – Louie Berra, Sebastian Rivas, Kenny Cunningham and Alex Bujenovic – have two goals apiece, while Berra and Cunningham have an additional assist for five points. Yianni Sarris has a team-high three assists.
- Alex Ivanov and Alex Wimmer have split this season with each making five starts. Ivanov has a 1.51 goals-against average after taking the field in each of the last two contests, while Wimmer holds a 2.20 GAA.
- Ohio State leads the conference in shots with 144 and is second in points (41) and goals (14), although the Buckeyes also have allowed a league-high 19 goals on the year.
- With Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan on the live call, the Michigan game Sunday will be the second of four guaranteed live appearances by the Buckeyes on BTN this season.
- The Buckeyes and Wolverines 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.
- Austin McAnena’s hat trick against Butler Wednesday was the first for a Buckeye player in seven years, since Xavier Back tallied three goals in a 3-1 win over Coastal Carolina Sept. 9, 2005.
- In the last 10 years, just three OSU players have scored three goals in a single match: McAnena, Balc and Justin Cook (10/17/04, vs. Penn State).
- The four goals scored by Ohio State against Butler Wednesday were a season high and the most since a 4-2 victory over Stetson Sept. 4, 2011.
- In the last five seasons (2012 included), the Buckeyes have produced at least four goals on nine occasions, including four during the 2007 campaign. The last time they surpassed four was in a 6-1 win over Cal State Fullerton in 2007.
MIX IT UP
- In 10 games this season, head coach John Bluem has used 10 different starting lineups.
- Defender and captains Chris Gomez and Sage Gardner, along with freshman midfielder Zach Mason are the only mainstays to take the pitch at the start of each contest.
- Nineteen players have made at least one start this season.
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
- Michigan enters Sunday with a 2-5-0 record and 0-1-0 in the Big Ten after falling to No. 21 Northwester, 2-1, last weekend. The Wolverines have dropped three in a row, all to ranked opponents, and have not scored since a 2-1 loss to then-No. 17 Marquette Sept. 14.
- Four players are tied for the team high in points with four with Latif Alashe and Kofi Opare tallying two goals apiece. Adam Grinwis has played
- The Wolverines are currently sixth in the Big Ten in goals (9) and seventh in total points (27). They also are sixth in team goals-against average (1.54, 11g).
- Michigan is led by first-year head coach Chaka Daley, who went to Ann Arbor after 12 seasons at the helm of Providence’s program.
- On Daley’s coaching staff is Ian Gordona, who did not play for the Buckeyes but graduated from Ohio State with a degree in history in 2003. Gardona spent four-plus years as a recruiting liaison and academy coach with the MLS's Columbus Crew Youth Development Program.
LAST TIME VS. MICHIGAN
- Ohio State defeated Michigan, 3-2, in overtime, Sept. 25, 2011, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in front of 985 fans. Chris Hegngi scored the game-winning goal 34 seconds into the first overtime period with the help of Omar Vallejo's second assist of the game as the Buckeyes improved to 5-3-1 on the season and 1-0-0 to open the Big Ten.
- The Wolverines made Ohio State work for the win, battling back from a 1-0 deficit to take the lead midway through the 85th minute. Parnell Hegngi tallied the equalizer 1:37 later, with just under four minutes remaining in regulation, setting up his younger brother to put away the victory.
- With the overtime victory last season, the Buckeyes have captured three in a row over the Wolverines and have a 9-5-1 in the all-time series since U-M became a varsity program in 2000.
- Each of the last nine meetings in the series, dating back through the 2005 season, has been decided by one goal or less.
LAST TIME OUT
- Austin McAnena registered the first Ohio State hat trick in seven years as the Buckeyes downed Butler 4-1 Wednesday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Buckeyes and improved their record to 4-5-1 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 2-2-4 with their first loss in four games.
- Sage Gardner added the final score of the night, the first of his career, on a late-game penalty kick.
- A total of six Buckeyes had points in the contest, including goalkeeper Alex Ivanov who earned an assist on McAnena’s first goal of the night. Ivanov also finished with six saves.
- Following the clash with Michigan Sunday, the Buckeyes have a week off before hosting Michigan State at noon Oct. 7 during the team’s Alumni Weekend (more info below).
- The Spartans are currently 3-5-1 on the year with their Big Ten opener scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday against Northwestern in East Lansing.
- Ohio State has captured each of its last seven meetings vs. MSU, dating back through the 2006 season.
- Four freshman have made appearances in the starting lineup this season, including Crew Academy product Zach Mason who has made all 10.
- Two of the five 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.
B1G 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. Michigan will be the second live showing for the Buckeyes. They previously had the Indiana match televised (Sept. 23, L 2-0) and also will have their home contest against national power Akron televised at 8 p.m. Oct. 23 and a road game at 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 165 career starts in 178 games played with Gardner (49) 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.
BUCKEYES IN THE MLS
- There currently are three former Buckeyes on active MLS rosters – Eric Brunner (Portland), Roger Espinoza (Kansas City) and Matt Lampson (Columbus). Both Brunner and Espinoza were part of the 2007 NCAA College Cup runner-up team, while Lampson lettered 2009-11 and was part of the 2009 Big Ten championship team.
- In his fifth MLS season, Brunner has made 10 starts in 11 games as a defender for the Timbers and has one goal to his credit this season.
- Also in his fifth season, all with Kansas City, Espinoza has started all 24 of Sporting KC’s matches in midfield.
- A Crew homegrown player, Lampson forewent his final year of eligibility to join Columbus in 2012. He has seen action in goal in three contests, starting one.
- Roger Espinoza was one of three over-age players on the Honduran Olympic team's roster, helping his squad to the quarterfinals and an upset of Spain in the first state.
- Against Brazil in the quarterfinals, he helped set up the Hondurans' first goal and scored the second while anchoring a team that was forced to play 57 minutes a man down due to an earlier red card.
- Espinoza is the only former Buckeye to represent his country on a national team. He also was part of the 2010 World Cup squad, taking the field in two matches in South Africa.
- John Bluem is in his 16th season as head coach of the Buckeyes in 2012. He has collected a 164-113-41 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 250-140-53 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.