Nov. 3, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's soccer team will play for the Big Ten regular-season title when it meets ninth-ranked Indiana at 1 p.m. Saturday at Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Unbeaten in six of their last seven games, the Buckeyes are 10-5-2 on the season and 4-1-0 in the conference, poised to finish in the Top 2 for the seventh time in eight seasons. Indiana is 5-0-1 in its last six games and ranked fourth in the Big Ten at 2-1-2 (10-3-4 overall).
With a win over the Hoosiers, Ohio State would earn the regular-season title for the third time in program history (2004 & 2009) and the second in the last three seasons. If the teams tie or Ohio State loses, attention will shift to the Wisconsin at Penn State and Northwestern at Michigan contests scheduled for 1 and 5 p.m., respectively, with several possible scenarios in play.
IF YOU GO
Tickets for the Ohio State at Indiana game can be purchased at the gate of the Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium prior to the start of the contest for $5 for adults and $3 for youth ages 3-18.
The Indiana game can be followed via Gametracker, linked from the front page and men's soccer schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com, or through Twitter with updates by @OhioState_MSOC and/or @IUMensSoccer.
IN A NUTSHELL
- At 10-5-2, Ohio State is unbeaten in six of its last seven games (5-1-1) and has shut out four of its last six opponents. The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents 27-19, more than either of the previous two seasons.
- Ohio State is looking for its 11th regular-season victory of the year, the most since the 2007 season when it took an 11-3-4 record into the postseason en route to an appearance in the national championship game. Sunday would be the fourth time a John Bluem-led Buckeye squad reaches the 11-win mark during regular season.
- With a Big Ten-leading nine goals, junior midfielder Chris Hegngi has paced the Ohio State attack this season, which is ranked third in the Big Ten in total team scoring (4.29 ppg) and second in goals (1.59 gpg) this season.
- Sebastian Rivas (4g, 1a), Parnell Hegngi (3g, 3a), Austin McAnena (3g, 2a) and Omar Vallejo (4a) also have produced offensively for the Buckeyes.
- The Ohio State defense, headlined by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year David Tiemstra, has allowed an average of 1.08 goals per game.
- First Team All-Big Ten goalkeeper and back-to-back Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Matt Lampson has made all 17 starts and has 1.09 goals-against average with five shutouts. He is second all-time at Ohio State in career shutouts with 24, three away from the program record, following the 2-0 blanking of Wisconsin last Sunday
- Six Buckeye players have started all 15 games this season with the remaining five spots divided among nine players. As many as three starting spots have gone to rookies this season and a total of 12 players have tallied at least one point with 18 assists on 18 of the team's 23 goals.
LAST TIME OUT
- Chris Hegngi scored his Big Ten-leading ninth goal of the season as the Buckeyes took over first place in the Big Ten with a 2-0 shutout win vs. Wisconsin last Sunday at the McClimon Complex in Madison, Wis.
- Now unbeaten in six of their last seven games, the Buckeyes improved to 10-5-2 overall and 4-1-0 in the Big Ten, while the Badgers drop to 8-7-2 on the season and 3-2-0 in the conference.
- With the victory and the Indiana-Northwestern draw, the Buckeyes took over the lead in the Big Ten with 12 points and are followed by Northwestern (11) and Wisconsin (9) for the Top 3 spots.
- Hegngi scored on a first-half penalty kick for what would stand as his third game-winning goal of the year before his older brother Parnell Hegngi added an insurance goal midway through the second half for his third of the season and the Buckeyes' first win by more than a goal since Sept. 16 vs. Hartwick (3-0).
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
- Indiana is 5-0-1 in its last six games after snapping a three-game losing streak and now is 10-3-4 overall and 3-1-2 in the Big Ten . The Hoosiers have scored an average of 2.2 goals per game in their recent unbeaten streak.
- The Hoosiers are ranked No. 9 in the latest NSCAA poll and are just the third ranked opponent on the OSU schedule this season.
- An 11th victory would be the most regular-season wins for the Hoosiers since 2008.
- Eriq Zavaleta, a freshman forward, leads the league in points (21) and is tied for the lead in goals (9) with Chris Hegngi heading into the final weekend.
SERIES HISTORY VS. INDIANA
- The Buckeyes have won each of the last three meetings with Indiana, including a 1-0 victory in the regular-season finale a year ago in Columbus.
- Ohio State captured both meetings, in the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament, during the 2008 season becoming just the third team to do so and the first to earn both wins in Bloomington.
- The Hoosiers still hold a staggering 35-4-3 advantage in the series with all four victories coming in the John Bluem era.
- Five of the last seven games against Indiana have gone to overtime, with the Buckeyes going 1-2-2 in those matches.
- Matt Lampson earned his second-consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor Monday after helping the Ohio State men's soccer team to a pair of wins over Oakland and conference foe Wisconsin last week.
- This is the eighth career weekly accolade for the junior goalkeeper, who took over second place all-time in career shutouts at Ohio State with 24, three away from the program record, following a 2-0 blanking of Wisconsin Sunday.
- Lampson had seven saves vs. the Badgers, including five in the second half alone, as the Buckeyes earned the road win and moved atop the Big Ten standings heading into the final week of the regular season.
- Along with the defense, anchored by David Tiemstra, Chris Gomez, Sage Gardner and Ben Killian for the majority of the season, Lampson now has five shutouts to his credit and four in the previous six games.
- Earlier in the week, the Hilliard, Ohio, native tallied three saves in the Buckeyes' non-conference finale vs. Oakland, a 2-1 OSU victory, last Wednesday in Rochester, Mich.
- Lampson is the third Buckeye to earn weekly accolades from the conference. Parnell Hegngi (Sept. 5) and Chris Hegngi (Sept. 26) each were tabbed the offensive POW once this season.
- The Buckeyes have scored 27 goals through 17 games, more than they scored through either of the last two entire seasons. The last time an OSU team scored 27 goals in a season was 2008 through 21 games and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Ohio State averages 1.59 goals per game, good for second in the Big Ten, and has had 10 players find the back of the net this season, including five with multiple scores.
- As a team, Ohio State has tallied three or more goals on four occasions, including a combined seven goals over the two games in the Wolstein Classic. The team previously had not scored at least three goals in a game since the 2009 season and the last time they scored more than four combined goals in back-to-back games was during the 2007 NCAA Tournament and wins over UC Santa Barbara (4-1) and Bradley (4-0) on Dec. 2 and 9, respectively. The last time a Buckeye squad accomplished the feat of scoring three-plus goals in four games also was in 2007 (five games).
FOOTBALL vs. FUTBOL
The Buckeyes travel to Bloomington as the Indiana football team comes to Columbus to face Ohio State at nearly the same time Saturday. This is the third of three weekends the soccer team will play an away game at the site of the OSU football team's home opponent. The Buckeyes are 2-0 in this situation in prior meetings, knocking off Wisconsin, 2-0, last Sunday (OSU Football, W, 33-29) and Michigan, 2-1, Oct. 2 (OSU Football, L, 10-7).
Pending seeding, Ohio State will begin play at the Big Ten Tournament either Wednesday or Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. The full tournament bracket will be released following the conclusion of regular-season games this weekend. Ticket information for the tournament, hosted by Michigan, is available here.