The Ohio State men’s soccer team defeated the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, 1-0, Sunday in the second day of the Holiday Inn City Center Golden Hurricane Classic in Tulsa, Okla.
Both teams were coming off a Friday loss, and were trying to end the weekend with some momentum. OSU was outshot by the Mustangs 10-2 Sunday, but Buckeye senior forward Denio Leone scored the game’s only goal late in the second half to secure the 1-0 victory for his team.
Coach John Bluem said his team escaped from the match after facing heavy pressure from the Mustangs.
“We were under a lot of pressure, especially in the second half,” Bluem said in a phone interview after the game. “We had a really nice goal from a senior and got away with a win.”
SMU outshot the Buckeyes in the first half 2-1, but neither team found a way to put the ball in the net. Buckeye junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov, who was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week last week, kept the Buckeyes alive throughout the first half by saving both shots SMU took.
OSU’s only shot of the first half came when senior forward Alex Harrison took a header towards the goal but hit it high.
SMU opened up the second half playing aggressive on offense, taking four shots and three corners within the first 10 minutes. Ivanov saved two more shots, and he finished the match with six saves on the way to securing his second career shutout.
Bluem praised the play of the younger players on the team, and their ability to comeback from a tough start to the weekend.
“We are a young team and we talked about bouncing back like we did last weekend,” Bluem said. “The guys answered well.”
Although OSU was outshot 8-1, that one shot proved to be all that it needed. Leone received a cross from the right side of the field from freshman defender Tyler Kidwell, one-touching it into the goal from about eight yards to tally his first career goal.
OSU fell to No. 22 ranked Tulsa, 4-1, Friday in its first game of the Classic. The team’s lone goal came from freshman midfielder Christian Soldat, and it was the first in his career. Tulsa coach Tom McIntosh earned his 200th career win in the process.
Bluem was not pleased with his teams performance, but said that Tulsa deserved to win.
“It was a hard weekend — it was almost 100 degrees,” Bluem said. “The Friday game against Tulsa was not a good game. They are a really good team.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to continue regular season play when they take on Bowling Green next Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Bowling Green, Ohio.