COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team hosts in-state foe Wright State at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes, who have three of their final four regular-season games at home, sit at 5-8-1 on the season, while the Raiders enter the game at 3-9-1. Admission to the contest is free.
Live video with audio provided by Scarlet & Gray radio will be available via BigTenNetwork.com, and linked through the front page and men's soccer schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The live stats link also can be found there with additional updates available on Twitter (@OhioState_MSOC)
IN A NUTSHELL
The Buckeyes are coming off a 1-0 setback to Northwestern last Saturday in Evanston, dropping them to 5-8-1 overall and 0-4-0 in the Big Ten.
Austin McAnena leads the Buckeyes with 11 points (4g, 3a), nearly twice as many as the four players who are next in line, tied with five points.
Nine players have tallied at least one goal this year with six holding multiple scores. McAnena, Chris Hegngi and Yianni Sarris are tied for the team lead in assists with three.
A different starting lineup has been used in 13 of 14 games in 2012. Defenders and captains Chris Gomez and Sage Gardner, along with senior Chris Hegngi and freshman midfielder Zach Mason are the only mainstays to take the pitch at the start of each contest.
SCOUTING WRIGHT STATE
The Raiders have just one win in their last seven games and enter the contest Friday at 3-9-1 on the season. They are coming off a 3-2 loss to Virginia Tuesday night with scores coming off an own goal by UVa and a tally by Greg Marchand. All five of the combined goals came in the first half.
Brett Elder has led Wright State this season with five of the team’s 14 goals and 12 total points. Derek Zuniga is next in line with 11 points off three goals and five assists.
The Raiders took part in the 2012 Wolstein Classic, splitting their games in Columbus. They defeated Davidson, 3-1, and fell to then-No. 16 Coastal Carolina, 1-0, in double overtime. Jacob Bye, Derek Zuniga and Emeka Onoye each earned all-tournament team recognition.
The Buckeyes trail in the all-time series with the Raiders 5-9-1, although the teams have not met in the regular season since the 1999 campaign.
Wright State and Ohio State tied 1-1 in a preseason exhibition in 2011. Then-freshman Kenny Cunningham scored the lone goal for the Buckeyes in the 38th minute and led the attack with four shots on the night. Justin Laired netted the equalizer for the Raiders late in the 69th minute and neither was able to come up with another despite a smattering of opportunities on both sides.
Austin McAnena went from zero goals to leading the team in a span of four games. The senior captain has 11 points on the season, good for third in the Big Ten and more than twice as many as his next teammate, off four goals and three assists.
Eight of the 11 points came between two games (Butler, Bowling Green) with McAnena’s goals standing as the game-winner in both. The Buckeyes have out-scored their opponents 6-1 in the two games when the Laguna Nigel, Calif., product tallies a score.
He earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors Oct. 2 after securing his first career hat trick (and the first for an OSU player in seven seasons) against Butler Sept. 26.
BUCKEYES IN THE B1G
Ohio State is second in the Big Ten in shots (194, 13.86spg) and third in total goals (19). Conversely, they are last in the conference in goals-allowed, giving up 25.
Individually, Austin McAnena tied for fifth in the league with 11 points and in a nine-way tie, along with teammates Yianni Sarris and Chris Hegngi, for eighth place in assists with three. McAnena’s and Kenny Cunningham's two game-winning tallies stand in third in the standings, while Hegngi also is second in shots (44, 3.14).
250 AND COUNTING
Head coach John Bluem earned his 250th career victory in the 4-1 win over Butler Sept. 26 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Bluem is in his 16th season as head coach of the Buckeyes in 2012. He has collected a 165-116-41 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 251-143-53 career record, a win total which is No. 24 among active NCAA coaches and a percentage which stands at No. 30.
In 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Bluem's teams have won at least 10 games 18 times - 12 at Ohio State - and he has taken his teams to the NCAA tournament in 12 seasons.
Bluem became the winningest coach in OSU history during the 2004 season, in his eighth season at the helm of the Scarlet & Gray.
HOME SWEET HOME
Beginning Friday, three of Ohio State’s four final regular-season games are within Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In each of the last six season, the Buckeyes have secured at least six wins on their home turf. They are sitting at 4-3-1 this season with three games remaining.
The Buckeyes are 81-30-15 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1999.
LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes fell 1-0 to Northwestern Sunday afternoon at a rain-soaked and windblown Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. They dropped to 5-8-1 overall and 0-4-0 in the Big Ten with the loss, while the defending Big Ten champion Wildcats improved to 9-2-2 on the season and 3-0-0 in conference play.
Eric Weberman scored the lone goal of the contest, burying a free kick from 40 yards out in the 35th minute. Seven OSU players produced shots in the contest, led by two from senior captain Austin McAnena.
Ohio State faces its fourth in-state opponent of the year, hosting third-ranked Akron at 8 p.m. Tuesday night in JOMS. The Zips are 10-1-2 on the year and riding a seven-game win streak heading into their Saturday game vs. West Virginia. Akron is out-scoring opponents 30-5 on the year and has the eighth-ranked scoring offense in the country.
Fans are encouraged to “Scarlet Out” the Jesse for Wednesday’s home game.
Austin McAnena was named the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 2, the first for an OSU player this season.
Now the leading scorer of the Buckeyes, McAnena tallied seven points on the week as Ohio State downed Butler, 4-1, Sept. 26 and dropped a double-overtime contest to Michigan, 3-2, Sept. 30.
Against the Bulldogs, the Laguna Niguel, Calif., native netted three goals on three shots for his first career hat trick and the first for an OSU player since the 2005 season.
He also notched an assist in the Buckeye's double overtime contest against the Wolverines, ending the week with a team-high nine points on the season (3g, 3a).
Four freshman have made appearances in the starting lineup this season, including Crew Academy productZach Mason who has made all 13.
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.
Last Sunday vs. Northwestern was the third live showing for the Buckeyes. They previously had the Indiana (Sept. 23, L 2-0) and Michigan (Sept. 30, L 3-2 2ot) matches televised with the home contest against national power Akron scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 23.
This will bring the program’s number of appearances on BTN to 21 since its inception in 2007.
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 Olavarria 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 12 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 26 games played of Sporting KC’s matches in midfield. He has two assists to his credit before spraining his ankle.
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.
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.
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.