Buckeyes and Zips will face off at 8 p.m., live on Big Ten Network
Oct. 22, 2012
Match #16: No. 2 Akron (11-1-2) at Ohio State (6-8-1) Tuesday, Oct. 23 | 8 p.m. | Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium TV: BTN | Gametracker | Facebook | Twitter
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team hosts second-ranked Akron in a BTN-televised match at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes are coming off a 2-1 win over Wright State Friday night, while the Zips are on an eight-game win streak after defeating West Virginia over the weekend.
With Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan on the live call, the Akron game Sunday will be the final of four guaranteed appearances by the Buckeyes on BTN this season.
The Buckeyes and Zips 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.
Live audio is available from Scarlet & Gray Radio via ohiostatesports.net.
The first 1,000 fans to the game Tuesday will receive a cookie from Cheryl’s, a Columbus-based cookies and fresh-baked goods company.
IN A NUTSHELL
Austin McAnena leads the Buckeyes with 11 points (4g, 3a), while Chris Hegngi is next in line after scoring the game-winner vs. the Raiders with seven points (2g, 3a).
Ten players have tallied at least one goal this year with eight holding multiple scores. McAnena, Hegngi and Yianni Sarris are tied for the team lead in assists with three.
The Buckeyes have the third-ranked scoring offense in the Big Ten with 4.07 points per game and 1.4 goals per game.
A different starting lineup has been used in 14 of 15 games in 2012. Defenders and captains Chris Gomez and Sage Gardner, along with Hegngi and freshman midfielder Zach Mason are the only mainstays to take the pitch at the start of each contest.
Goalkeepers Alex Wimmer and Alex Ivanov have divided time between the pipes this season with Wimmer making each of the last three starts. He has 1.62 goals-against average and a .729 save percentage with a 4-4-0 record.
The Zips (11-1-2) ride an eight-game winning streak into Columbus, including victories over fellow Big Ten programs Penn State and Michigan. They also defeated Indiana prior to the lone loss of the year, a 3-1 decision to Notre Dame.
Akron is ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA poll this week and has spent the entire season in the Top 10 and the last four weeks among the Top 5.
Three players have scored five or more goals for Akron, led by Scott Caldwell (8g, 5a) and Reinaldo Brenes (8g, 2a). In all, 10 UA players have recorded at least one goal in 2012. The Zips have the eighth-ranked scoring offense in the country.
Goalkeeper David Meves is one shutout away from taking over the Akron record of 49 clean sheets. He has 48 in his career, including one over Ohio State in 2009. Akron has allowed six goals through 14 matches this season and posted 10 shutouts, including eight in a row.
Tuesday will represent the 35th all-time meeting between the Zips and Buckeyes. Ohio State trails in the series which dates back to 1955, 6-25-3, though it is 1-1-1 in the last three meetings to take place in Columbus.
Two years ago, the then-No. 19 Buckeyes foiled top-ranked UA’s NCAA record-tying shutout streak of 11 matches by securing a 2-2 draw in front of a JOMS record crowd of 7,255 Sept. 30. Austin McAnena ended the shutout streak in the first half and David Tiemstra forced extra time with a score in the final two seconds of regulation.
In the last meeting, the No. 4 and undefeated Zips topped Ohio State 3-1 Sept. 28, 2011 in Akron. Sebastian Rivas had the lone goal for the Buckeyes, breaking a 2-0 shutout late in the second half.
Ohio State last win in the series was during the 2006 campaign, a 1-0 victory Sept. 26 in Columbus.
MATTERS OF THE STATE
The Buckeyes have faced three teams from the state of Ohio so far this season, going 2-1 in those contests.
They started off the year with a 2-0 road loss to Dayton and have since knocked off Bowling Green, 2-0, and Wright State, 2-1.
The match vs. Akron Tuesday will be the fourth and final regular-season contest vs. a team from the Buckeye state, the most since the 2001 season when Ohio State faced Bowling Green, Denison, Akron and Cleveland State.
LAST TIME OUT
Chris Hegngi scored in the 72nd minute to lift the Buckeyes to a 2-1 victory over Wright State Friday evening at cold and rain-soaked Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes improved to 6-8-1 with the win, while the Raiders drop to 3-10-1 with the loss.
Sage Gardner also scored in the contest, putting the Buckeyes on top 1-0 before Wright State equalized towards the end of the first half. The senior captain's second goal of the season came in the 27th minute when Joshua Breto was taken down inside the penalty area and Gardner buried the free shot beyond the reach of WSU keeper Jacob Bye.
After the match Tuesday, Ohio State has just two games left in the regular season, both against conference opponents.
The Buckeyes travel to University Park, Pa., to face Penn State at 1 p.m. next Sunday. They will wrap up the regular season at home vs. Wisconsin a week later, in a 1 p.m. contest Sunday, Nov. 4 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
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.
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 166-116-41 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 252-143-53 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.
Four freshman have made appearances in the starting lineup this season, including Crew Academy product Zach Mason who has made all 15. Mason has played 1,305 minutes this season, third only to captains and fellow defenders Chris Gomez and Sage Gardner.
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.
The trio have combined for 171 career starts in 184 games played with Gardner (51) 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.
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 13 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 injuring 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.