COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team prepares for its final regular-season road game of the year, a Big Ten showdown at Penn State scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday on Jeffrey Field. The Buckeyes are 6-9-1 on the season and in search of their first conference win, while the Nittany Lions are 9-4-2 and atop the Big Ten standings at 3-1-1.
The game Sunday will be streamed online through Penn State’s Student U program and will be available to all of Ohio State’s BuckeyeVision and BigTenNetwork.com subscribers.
The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions 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.
IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State is coming off a 1-0 setback to No. 2 nationally-ranked Akron last Tuesday in front of 2,175 fans and a national television audience on BTN.
leads the Buckeyes with 11 points (4g, 3a), while is next in line with seven points (2g, 3a).Austin McAnenaChris Hegngi
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 fourth-ranked scoring offense in the Big Ten with 3.81 points per game and 1.31 goals per game.
A different starting lineup has been used in 15 of 16 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 four starts. He has 1.56 goals-against average and a .759 save percentage with a 4-5-0 record.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions enter the match Sunday with a 9-4-2 overall record and a 3-1-1 mark in conference play, which currently places them atop the Big Ten standings (although they have played one more game than Indiana and Northwestern, who are tied for second).
They are coming off an upset win over No. 21 Northwestern in overtime, handing the Wildcats their first Big Ten loss since Nov. 2010. Hasani Sinclair had the game-winning goal in the 104th minute for his first score of the season.
Penn State’s Top 2 scorers are seniors Julian Cardona (5g, 2a) and Daniel Burnham (3g, 2a), who combine for over a third of the team’s total scoring. Penn State’s offense is fifth in the league; however, its defense allows the second-fewest goals per game at 0.70 and have secured seven shutouts on the season.
Three PSU goalies have seen time in goal this season, with Andrew Wolverton making each of the last three starts. He has 0.51 GAA for the season with a 4-1-2 record and three complete-game shutout.
Sunday is the Lions’ Senior Day for 10 players.
Head Coach Bob Warming on Ohio State: "Ohio State is an absolute handful; they are certainly the Penn State of last year. They are the team that nobody wants to face right now."
The match Sunday will be the 30th all-time meeting between the teams, with the Nittany Lions leading the series 16-11-2.
Eight of the last nine meetings have been decided by one goal.
The teams split two meetings a year ago, with the Buckeyes capturing the regular-season meeting and PSU coming away with the big Ten tourney win.
In Ohio State's 1-0 regular season overtime victory vs. Penn State Oct. 23, 2011, in Columbus, Austin McAnena scored the game-winning goal for the Buckeyes, scoring 5:57 into the first overtime period.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite a spirited second half of play, Ohio State fell to second-ranked Akron, 1-0, Tuesday night in front of a season-high 2,125 fans at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and a national television audience on BTN. The Buckeyes dropped to 6-9-1 on the season, while the Zips extended their winning streak to eight games and improve to 12-1-2.
Reinaldo Brenes scored the lone goal of the match, sending a shot into the lower right 90 midway into the 52nd minute. Teammate Wil Trapp had his shot saved by OSU goalkeeper Alex Wimmer, but the rebound found its way back into play and Brenes buried it for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Playing with the deficit, the Buckeyes stepped up their game and produced a myriad of opportunities down the stretch. In the 66th minute, Austin McAnena had a point-blank shot stopped by David Meves, but followed it up with a corner kick opportunity and another close call from Chris Gomez, whose attempt was swept off the line by a UA defender.
The Buckeyes close out the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 against Wisconsin in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The game will be Senior Day for the team’s four-year players and also will feature a giveaway of Ohio State seat cushions to the first 200 fans.
The Badgers are 6-7-3 overall and 1-3-0 in the Big Ten with a match vs. Northwestern scheduled for Sunday.