Oct. 17, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team closes out a stretch of six-consecutive matches vs. 2012 NCAA opponents, hosting No. 16 Northwestern at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
For those unable to make it to JOMS, the match vs. Northwestern will be streamed through Ohio State’s online platforms with links available from the calendar tab on the front page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com or on the men’s soccer schedule page. The game Sunday is available live through BTN.com and its StudentU production series. Gametracker, as well as Twitter updates from @OhioState_MSOC, will also be in play Sunday afternoon.
IN A NUTSHELL
• The Buckeyes sit at 2-6-4 on the season after battling back at No. 18 Michigan State to earn a 1-1 double-overtime draw. They have wins over Northern Illinois and SMU, while claiming four draws this season, including two against nationally-ranked opponents Louisville and Michigan State.
• Goalkeeper Alex Ivanov has four shutouts in 11 games this season, surpassing the total from all of 2012 (2).
• Ivanov is second in the country in saves (73), fourth in saves per game (6.64) and sixth in saves percentage (.869).
• Ohio State’s seven goals have been scored by six different players; while six different members have earned an assist this season.
• Ryan Ivancic leads the team with four points this year. Ivancic scored the tying-goal against the Spartans last weekend with less than six minutes left in regulation.
• Kofi Agyapong collected his first career point as a Buckeye last weekend, setting up the scoring opportunity when he sent a low cross to Ivancic for the goal.
• Ohio State returns four starters in Gardner, a senior captain, juniors Kenny Cunningham and Zach Dobey and Mason from the 2012 team. John Bluem, who enters his 17th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, welcomes a total of 17 new players to Columbus, including a talented group of nine true freshmen.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Northwestern travels to Columbus with an 8-3-2 record after tying second-ranked Notre Dame, 1-1, in double overtime on Tuesday in South Bend, Ind. Through games played on Wednesday, the Wildcats are tied for third in the conference standings with a 1-1 mark with Wisconsin. Northwestern has outscored its opponents, 23-11, including a 13-4 advantage in the second half. Offensively, Joey Calistri leads the Big Ten with 29 points and 10 goals, while goalkeeper Tyler Miller is 8-3-2 with a 0.79 goals-against average in 2013.
The Buckeyes hold a 17-10-2 mark in the series vs. Northwestern. Ohio State last defeated the Wildcats during the 2007 campaign winning, 1-0, at Big Ten Tournament in East Lansing, Mich. Six out of the last seven meetings vs. Northwestern have been decided by a one-goal margin.
LAST TIME OUT
Down 1-0 with under six minutes remaining in regulation, the Buckeyes (2-6-4, 0-2-1) found the back of the net to force overtime en route to the 1-1 conference draw vs. the Spartans (7-1-2, 1-0-1).
“Our coaching staff was extremely pleased from the effort today from everybody,” head coach John Bluem said. “We asked them to battle through all 90 minutes and see if we could make something happen. We feel like we are a win away from changing our season around if can we just get one victory against a program like Michigan State.”
Junior Ryan Ivancic scored the OSU goal from the far side post after finishing a low cross by classmate Kofi Agyapong. The native of Accra, Ghana, Agyapong, juked his defender on the near side and struck a pass from left to back post where Ivancic sent it into the back of the net at 84:12. The goal was Ivancic’s second of 2013, while Agyapong earned his first career point with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State returns to competition next week, hosting Oakland at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
MAKE B1G PLANS
Ohio State is the host of the 2013 Big Ten Championship, scheduled for Nov. 13-17 on Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Action will begin Wednesday, Nov. 13 with three quarterfinal matches. The No. 1 seed and first-round winners will meet in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 15 with the championship taking place Sunday, Nov. 17. Wednesday contests will be streamed on BTN.com with the semifinals and final matches appearing on BTN.
BIG TEN PREDICTIONS
Senior captain Sage Gardner, along with classmate Ben Killian and junior Alec Lowell are among the 21 student-athletes deemed “Players to Watch” by the Big Ten at the start of the season. The team was selected seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll released Aug. 21. Indiana, who is ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA preseason Top 25 poll as the defending national champions, is atop the preseason conference standings. Reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion Michigan State checked in at No. 2 in the preseason poll, followed by No. 3 Northwestern, No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Penn State. The Wildcats and Nittany Lions shared the Big Ten title in 2012.
Nine freshmen make up the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s rookie class, named No. 29 in the country by College Soccer News prior to the season. The group is the fourth-highest ranked class in the Big Ten behind No. 7 Indiana, No. 8 Michigan and No. 28 Northwestern. All eight freshmen field players have seen action so far this season with many expected to continue playing integral roles in the Buckeyes’ regular-season campaign.
FREE FOR ALL
The Buckeyes’ schedule includes 10 matches at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with home Big Ten action kicking off Oct. 6 against Michigan. Admission is free to all Ohio State men’s soccer regular-season home games.
BUCKEYES ON BTN
Ohio State will make at least two appearances on BTN this season. Seven additional home games will be streamed online through BTN.com with the remaining three available via BuckeyeVision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The Buckeyes open the Big Ten schedule Sept. 29, taking on defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Indiana in Bloomington, Ind. The 2 p.m. ET match will be broadcast live on BTN. The squad also will appear on BTN at Michigan State Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. The semifinals and final of the Big Ten Championship, hosted by Ohio State Nov. 13-17, also will be shown live on BTN.
John Bluem, the winningest coach in OSU program history, is in his 17th season at the helm of the Buckeyes. The three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year owns a 168-124-47 record at Ohio State. His career record, which includes six seasons at Fresno State, stands at 254-151-58.